Elon Musk has suggested the possibility of implementing a monthly payment system for access to the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, now referred to as X.
In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk discussed the need for a payment system as a means to combat the issue of bots on the platform. It’s the bots’ fault, once again.
While the details of this potential payment system still remain unclear, Musk has previously advocated for charging users for verification as a strategy to eliminate bots and fake accounts. Since taking over Twitter last year, he has introduced Twitter Blue, or now X Premium, the $8/month “premium” tier which offers subscribers additional features such as longer posts, the ability to format text, and increased visibility on the platform.
“A bot costs a fraction of a penny,” Musk said. “But if somebody even has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost to bots is very high.”
Musk emphasized that charging even a small amount for the service would significantly increase the cost for bots. He mentioned plans to introduce lower-tier pricing options to accommodate a wider range of users.
Musk has been mulling putting the entire “system” behind a paywall since last year, as discussed here by Casey Newton. While Musk tends to act fast on these decisions (only to roll them back later when they don’t work), the move to put X behind a paywall carries the risk of losing a substantial portion of its user base, potentially impacting the platform’s advertising revenue, a significant source of income for the company.
Information for this story was found via X, Platformer, BBC, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.