X (Twitter) has started charging new members an annual fee.
Social media platform X (Twitter) has started charging a fee of US$1 per year in New Zealand and the Philippines. Elon Musk’s service is meant to compete with bots.
We have started testing a new subscription mechanism of ‘Not a Bot’ for new customers in two countries from October 17, 2023, the company said in a message. We designed this new test to support ongoing, important efforts in reducing spam, manipulation, and bot activity on our platform.
Bots and Spammers
The company claims it will evaluate potentially effective measures to help us thwart bots and spammers on X, while balancing access to the platform with a low price level. This test will not affect existing users.
To post, reply, repost, refer, and bookmark posts, new accounts created in New Zealand and the Philippines must first verify their phone number and pay a $1 annual fee.
According to X’s post, new users who choose not to subscribe will only be able to perform read actions, such as reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
X Face Program
The new program seeks to protect against spammers and boots that try to take control of the platform and interfere with other X users’ experiences.
According to the terms and conditions, the new fee is a beta program, and users must agree to recurring membership payments to sign up.
According to him, raising the cost of an account to “a few dollars or something” would deter software developers because accounts currently cost “a fraction of a penny” to set up. Additionally, the bot developer will need a new payment method every time they want to create a new bot.
The move comes at a time when Musk is exploring alternative sources of revenue for advertising and pushing X to develop apps with payment services.
Elon Musk claims that since he took the helm, ad revenue has dropped by 60% as a result of boycotts by advertisers and concerns over how to handle offensive or hateful content.