In a strategic move aimed at combating bots and spammers while generating revenue, Elon Musk’s social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, is set to impose a nominal annual fee of $1 on new users. This innovative approach has been initiated as a trial in New Zealand and the Philippines, with the company planning to extend the annual fee to all new users worldwide.
During the trial period, basic capabilities such as publishing and interacting on the network would cost new users in the Philippines and New Zealand, roughly $0.75 and $0.85 annually, respectively. In addition to reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts, non-paying users will not be able to actively contribute to the platform.
The primary objective of this subscription model is to mitigate the presence of bots and spammers, a persistent issue in online platforms. The nominal fee is seen as a means to strike a balance between platform accessibility and deterring misuse through automated accounts. Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform last year for a whopping $44 billion, the platform has witnessed a series of transformative changes, including employee layoffs, alterations in content moderation, and revisions to the verification system, such as the introduction of a paid option for the coveted blue tick.
X, the rebranded version of Twitter, has emphasized that this new subscription fee will bolster ongoing efforts to combat spam and manipulation on the platform. The company further revealed plans to experiment with multiple tiers of a subscription service, based on the number of advertisements presented to users, as part of their future strategy.
The move aligns with Elon Musk’s vision, previously hinted at in September, wherein he proposed an annual subscription fee as a viable strategy to counter the proliferation of bots and their potential misuse in spreading political propaganda or promoting racial hatred. Only time will tell how this change will impact the platform and its user base on a global scale.