Elon Musk’s social media platform, X, previously known as Twitter, is set to introduce a $1 yearly charge for new sign-ups. This move initially rolled out in New Zealand and the Philippines, is part of X’s strategy to deter bots and enhance the user experience.
Why the X Yearly Charge?
X’s decision to implement this nominal fee is rooted in its commitment to combat spam, bot activity, and platform manipulation.
In the company’s statement on the 17th of October, 2023, it revealed that the “Not A Bot” subscription method is under testing in two countries.
X also aims to strike a balance between platform accessibility and a minor fee to ensure genuine user engagement.
What you need to know
Musk had previously hinted at the possibility of charging all users during a chat with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The rationale behind this was the minimal cost associated with bot creation. By introducing a fee, even if nominal, X could deter bot operators.
This new fee for new users aligns with Musk’s vision of diversifying X’s revenue streams beyond advertising, especially given the 60% decline in ad revenue after his takeover.
What does the X yearly charge entail?
New users in New Zealand and the Philippines will first authenticate their phone number, followed by the payment of the $1 annual fee.
This will grant them full access to X’s features, including posting, liking, replying, reposting, quoting posts, and bookmarking.
What if new users opt out of the X yearly charge?
Users who choose not to subscribe will have “read-only” access. This includes reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
How much is the fee in local currencies?
The $1 fee is approximately NZ$1.43 in New Zealand and 42.51 Philippine pesos in the Philippines.
Is this charge permanent?
As of now, the charge is part of a beta program. Users agreeing to this will be enrolled in a recurring subscription payment.
Will existing users be affected by the X yearly charge?
No, the current plan targets only new users.
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