X has announced a significant change to its platform by introducing a $1 annual fee for new users. This fee will grant access to key features such as tweeting, replying, and quoting. Elon Musk hopes the fee will eradicate bots and spammers, something he promised to do after taking the helm in 2022.
Elon Musk has long contemplated charging users for the platform and hinted at a monthly fee in a recent interview. He has now decided on an annual fee instead, and it's already being tested in New Zealand and the Philippines. All new users are required to pay a $1 annual fee to access basic features. This change marks a significant departure from the platform's previous model, which allowed free usage since its inception in 2006.
X's Support account confirmed the introduction of the new fee, emphasising it is not a profit driver but a means of reducing spam, platform manipulation, and the presence of bots. The company aims to strike a balance between accessibility and preventing abuse of the platform. By implementing a nominal fee, X hopes to discourage malicious actors from creating multiple accounts and engaging in spamming or manipulative activities.
Starting today, we're testing a new program (Not A Bot) in New Zealand and the Philippines. New, unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post & interact with other posts. Within this test, existing users are not affected.— Support (@Support) October 17, 2023
For new users, the introduction of the $1 annual fee means a slight change in the onboarding process. To access basic functionality like tweeting, replying, liking, and bookmarking tweets, new users will be required to pay the fee. This fee is nominal and is expected to deter potential spammers and bots while allowing genuine users to engage with the platform. Existing users are not affected by this fee and can continue to use the platform without any changes. It remains to be seen whether X will expand this payment plan to users in other countries in the future.
In addition to the $1 annual fee for new users, X also offers an optional premium subscription called X Premium. This subscription is priced at $8 per month, and provides users with extra benefits such as a blue checkmark and the ability to edit posts. X Premium is a separate offering from the basic $1 fee and caters to users who desire enhanced functionalities on the platform.
Elon Musk has long envisioned transforming X into what he calls an "everything app." By charging a nominal fee and obtaining users' credit card information, Musk aims to create a platform that facilitates more than just social media interactions. He envisions users being able to make purchases directly from the app, among other functionalities.
While this vision holds promise for X's future, it remains to be seen how users will respond to this transition and whether they will embrace X as a multi-purpose platform beyond social media.
Also read: Redditors Can Now Earn Real Money for Posts