At the recent Vox Media’s Code 2023 conference, Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X (previously known as Twitter), faced probing questions regarding Elon Musk’s announcement of a potential monthly subscription fee for using the platform. Elon Musk had earlier mentioned the intention to introduce a nominal monthly fee to combat the rampant influx of bots on the platform.
Julia Boorstin, CNBC senior media and tech correspondent, pressed Yaccarino on whether X would indeed transition to a subscription-based model. Musk’s statement hinted at such a shift, emphasizing the necessity to deter bot accounts. Yaccarino, however, sidestepped a direct response and sought clarification on Musk’s exact words. She emphasized that discussions about various aspects of the platform occurred regularly but did not confirm the transition to a subscription-based system.
Musk’s proposition regarding a nominal monthly fee was part of a larger conversation about AI, involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Musk noted that the fee, likely a few dollars, could significantly reduce bot creation. Currently, X boasts an impressive user base of 550 million monthly active users and experiences a massive volume of posts daily.
Yaccarino took the opportunity to defend Musk, praising his involvement in the product’s management. She expressed confidence in X’s potential to turn a profit by 2024 and highlighted her own expertise as a senior executive, both in ad sales and overall strategic leadership.
Notably, Yoel Roth, the former head of safety and integrity at Twitter, also spoke at the conference. Roth, who left the company after Musk’s acquisition, revealed the harassment and threats he faced following Musk’s public criticism. However, Yaccarino distanced herself from Roth’s experiences, asserting that X was a new entity under her leadership.
As X (formerly Twitter) navigates this potential shift, the industry and users keenly watch for further developments and clarity on the subscription-based model.