If you’re a frequent user of X (also known as Twitter), I’m afraid I have bad news for you.
Apparently, X owner Elon Musk has weighed up the option of a monthly payment…
And this time, it applies to all users.
Soon, You Might Need to Pay to use X (Formerly Twitter)
In a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 18 July 2023, Musk revealed that the company was contemplating a “small monthly payment” for all users.
Yes, this time, it’s not a choice.
He did not, however, specify how much it would entail and when it would take effect. All he let on was that it would be a “small amount of money” and that it would be a “lower tier pricing” than the current subscription charges.
Musk has also provided a reason for the change: bots.
According to the business magnate, this method would counteract “vast armies of bots”.
Upon the method’s implementation, bot creators would be discouraged by the costs.
If you’re new to the Elon Musk/Twitter scene, this idea isn’t exactly new. Musk reportedly weighed the idea last year, after the massive lay-off scheme that shook the Internet.
The move comes off as a controversial one, considering the hostile response to an earlier Musk “manoeuvre”.
So, lest you’re unaware, X was previously chastised for its subscription gimmick: a rule that required you to pay a monthly fee to view more tweets.
For context, unverified users could only view up to 600, while verified users can view up to 6,000. For the record, you must, at the time, pay around S$11 for a web-based monthly subscription and S$15 for an iOS monthly subscription.
Naturally, users were fed up. Some even started boycotting the platform, with tweets like “RIP Twitter” trending, while others fled to Twitter-like platforms such as Bluesky, Mastodon and the recently established Threads.
Musk later stated that the limit would “soon” be elevated to 10,000 for verified and 1,000 for unverified.
In the scenario that X does implement a paywall for all of its users, the platform is expected to lose a good chunk of its user population.
This would, in turn, compromise advertising revenue, which reportedly accounts for a significant portion of the company’s profits. It’s a tough call considering how, earlier this month, Musk revealed that X’s US advertising revenue was down 60%.
A big part of it could be attributed to the Anti-Defamation League’s accusations, which ousted Musk and X for supposedly being antisemitic.
Whether the move will ultimately go through, however, remains to be seen.
It should be noted that during the course of the live-streamed conversation, Musk also touched on topics such as AI technology and hate speech. In the latter’s case, Musk emphasised that he’s “against antisemitism”, or generally “anything that promotes hate and conflict.”
You can view the full clip here.
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