April 16, 2024

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Elon Musk’s X Trials: $1 Annual Fee for Twitter Access

Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, has initiated a trial in New Zealand and the Philippines, charging new users $1 annually for access to key features, including tweeting, retweeting, liking posts, and replying to posts. Users who opt not to subscribe will be restricted to reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.

The primary aim of this change is to combat spam, reduce platform manipulation, and curb bot activity. The new account creation process now includes verifying users’ phone numbers. Elon Musk has noted that creating “read-only” accounts, which lack key features, will remain free.

This move is part of Elon Musk’s broader exploration of the idea of making users pay for Twitter access. He believes that introducing a nominal fee could deter bots since even a minor cost would significantly raise the barrier to creating them, which is otherwise relatively inexpensive.

It’s worth noting that Twitter, under Musk’s leadership, has faced various challenges and controversies, from declining revenues to content moderation and safety concerns.

In addition to this trial, Twitter already offers a premium subscription service known as X Premium, which provides enhanced features such as longer posts and increased visibility on the platform. The cost of X Premium varies depending on the user’s location and currently stands at $8 per month in the United States. This service remains available alongside the new trial, allowing users to choose their level of engagement.

However, implementing a paywall carries the risk of potentially losing a significant portion of the user base, which could impact advertising revenue, a primary income source for the platform. This strategy reflects Elon Musk’s ongoing efforts to reshape Twitter and address some of the challenges it has been facing, such as content moderation, safety concerns, and monetization.