Last month, Elon Musk shared his plans for X (formerly Twitter), hinting at a potential shift towards a paid model. Although he later clarified that a free option will always be available, recent developments indicate that X is moving closer to implementing a paid structure.
Currently, X is testing a new subscription tier called “Not A Bot” in the Philippines and New Zealand. This subscription plan comes at a reasonable cost of $1 per year, but prices may vary based on the country and currency.
Under the “Not a Bot” plan, new users can access essential features during a trial period. This includes the ability to tweet, retweet, like posts, and respond to posts. Users who opt not to subscribe will have limited functionality, restricted to reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
To create new accounts, users will need to verify their phone numbers. They will have three subscription options to choose from: the $1/year Not-a-Bot plan, X Premium, and the Verified Organizations plan. It remains uncertain if these terms will remain the same when X introduces the paid-for-all subscription more widely.
In a recent post, Musk stated that reading on the platform will remain free, but there will be a $1/year fee for writing. According to Musk, this approach is essential in combating bots without hindering genuine users, making manipulation of the platform much more difficult.
X has explained that the purpose of the Not a Bot subscription plan is to enhance existing efforts to combat spam, platform manipulation, and bot activities. This trial aims to evaluate an effective measure to tackle bots and spammers on X while ensuring platform accessibility through a nominal fee. Existing users are not affected by this test.
However, implementing a paywall on X carries the risk of potentially losing a significant user base. This potential loss could subsequently impact advertising revenue, which currently forms the majority of the company’s income.