Elon Musk has made a significant number of changes, since acquiring social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
In order to combat bots, he is now preparing to start charging consumers a tiny monthly fee.
It was during a livestream conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he shares his plans. He says,
“We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” claiming that “it’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.”
He didn’t specify when he planned to start charging X/Twitter users or what the premium features would be. All we know is that a monthly cost of “a few dollars or something” would be charged to discourage bot accounts.
Musk has been working on this issue since early last year. As posted by him on 26th April, 2022 – “I want to make Twitter better by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithm open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”
As per musk, X presently has 550 million monthly active members. They upload between 100 and 200 million posts each day to the social network.
This is not the first time Musk has considered putting a paywall in place for X. In the past, Musk has claimed that since he acquired the business, X’s ad sales had decreased by 50%. On July 15, 2023 he posted, “We’re still negative cash flow, due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load. Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else.”
The conversation with Netanyahu was supposed to be about the dangers of AI and how to regulate it. However, Musk took the opportunity to refute claims that his platform tolerates antisemitism and hate speech. This comes despite the fact that Musk has repeatedly made remarks that have been critical of transgender people, federal regulators, politicians, journalists, whistleblowers, and others.
It already has a subscription service called X Blue, formerly known as Twitter Blue. The program’s starting monthly fee is $8 USD. As of now, there is no information on when the new pricing fee is expected to go into effect.
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