Elon Musk Discusses Turning X into a Paid Platform at AI Safety Roundtable
Elon Musk has recently made controversial decisions regarding his acquisition of Twitter, transforming it into X. Now, he is considering another move that may not sit well with most people.
In an AI safety roundtable streamed live on X, Musk expressed his idea to turn X into a fully paid platform. According to Musk, implementing a small monthly fee is the only viable solution to combat the overwhelming number of bots on the platform. However, he did not disclose the specific cost or any detailed plans.
Each time a bot creator wishes to use the platform, they will need to select and utilize a new payment method. Musk clarified his reasoning behind this, stating, “It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots. Because a bot costs a fraction of a penny — call it a tenth of a penny — but even if it has to pay…a few dollars or something, the effective cost of bots is very high.”
A bot on a social media platform is a computer program capable of automated actions such as posting, liking, or following accounts without human intervention. Bots often contribute to the spread of fake information, spamming, and manipulation of trends or engagement metrics. They can also diminish the authenticity of online interactions and potentially deceive users.
The introduction of paid features on X shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the recent changes. These updates have primarily targeted paid subscribers, offering perks such as extra-long 25,000-character tweets, video downloads, and job listings. Meanwhile, free users have faced increasing restrictions, including limits on their daily tweet or post views.
Currently, X has approximately 550 million monthly users. While implementing a small monthly fee could help combat bots, transforming X into a paid service for all users may lead to a decline in user numbers, as it seems not many users are willing to subscribe. Independent analysis shows that only 827,615 users currently have a premium subscription, thus convincing individuals to remain on the platform while paying may prove challenging.