To start, X will charge $1.43 NZD from new users in New Zealand and ₱42.51 PHP per year from new users in the Philippines.
Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter), has announced that the platform will start charging new users $1 per year for basic account features as part of his “Not-A-Bot” initiative.
The fee will initially apply to new users in New Zealand and the Philippines, and X plans to expand it to all new users globally. The fee will apply to basic features such as tweeting, replying to tweets, liking and bookmarking tweets, and creating lists. Existing users will not be affected by the fee.
“New users will be able to perform certain actions on the web version of the platform: post content, Like posts, Reply, Repost and Quote other accounts’ posts, and Bookmark posts.”
“New users who opt out of subscribing will only be able to take “read only” actions, such as: Read posts, Watch videos, and Follow accounts.”X
The company said the fee is necessary to reduce the number of bots and spammers on the platform. He has also said that he wants to make X more sustainable and that charging users a small fee will help to cover the costs of running the platform.
There has been some mixed reaction to the news. Some users have expressed support for the fee, saying that it is a small price to pay to keep the platform free of bots and spammers. Others have expressed concern that the fee will make X less accessible to users in developing countries.
It remains to be seen how the fee will impact X’s user base and overall growth. However, Musk is serious about making X more profitable.
Starting today, we’re testing a new program (Not A Bot) in New Zealand and the Philippines. New, unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post & interact with other posts. Within this test, existing users are not affected.— Support (@Support) October 17, 2023
Why New Zealand and the Philippines?
In 2022, 47.4% of all internet traffic came from bots, while at 52.6%, human traffic decreased to its lowest level in eight years. According to the 2023 State Of The Web from Gloucester, United Kingdom-based domain and hosting experts Fasthosts, “.bot is predicted to be a TLD (top-level domain) to watch out for as registrations to the word bot are set to see a huge increase.”
The press release from Fasthosts titled “X’s War on Bots” shared with Hackread.com, implies that Elon Musk’s decision to charge users is a component of his “Not-A-Bot” initiative. This initiative has revealed that the majority of bot accounts on the social media platform are registered in specific locations, namely New Zealand and the Philippines.
Musk’s decision to charge users for basic features is a controversial one. It is unclear how the fee will impact X’s user base and overall growth. Yet, the fee could help to reduce the number of bots and spammers on the platform. It could also generate additional revenue for X, which could be used to invest in new features and improve the platform’s overall user experience.
However, the fee could also make X less accessible to users in some countries. It could also discourage some users from signing up for an account or using the platform regularly. Overall, it remains to be seen how Musk’s decision to charge users for basic features will impact X in the long term.