Twitter, now known as "X," is taking a bold step by charging new users an annual subscription fee to access basic features on the platform. This move, orchestrated by Elon Musk, the owner of X, aims to test how much users are willing to pay for essential functions, like posting, replying, quoting, reposting, liking, bookmarking, and creating lists.
X's Shift to a Paywall Model
X is transitioning into a paywall model, with new users in New Zealand and the Philippines being charged $1 annually to access these fundamental features. This decision reflects Elon Musk's long-standing desire to implement user payments as a means to keep the platform free of bots, a problem that has persisted even after his acquisition.
Under this new subscription, users who don't pay are restricted to reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts but can't engage through features like reposts and replies.
Evolution of Premium Features
Since Elon Musk's acquisition of X, premium features have been introduced, primarily for paying users. Initially, these features included editing posts, longer posts, text formatting, and themes. In a recent development, X limited the number of daily posts non-paying users can see on their timeline. Additionally, X is planning to introduce a more expensive Premium tier to completely remove ads, likely in response to the loss of advertisers due to Musk's new policies.
X's Bot Problem
Musk has consistently blamed the presence of bots for many of X's issues, such as the manipulation of cryptocurrency prices and contentious legal battles. In response, he has introduced a subscription-based model, X Premium, with features like "Undo" and "Edit" for posts at a cost of $8 per month or $84 per year.
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The Not A Bot Program
X's newly introduced "Not A Bot" program is being tested in New Zealand and the Philippines. This program aims to defend against bots and spammers attempting to manipulate the platform and disrupt the user experience. X sees it as a crucial step to ensure the platform's integrity.
Twitter, now X, is making a significant shift in its monetization strategy by charging new users $1 annually for access to basic features. Elon Musk's determination to combat bots and improve the platform's quality has driven this move, with premium subscriptions like X Premium offering more extensive features to paying users. As X experiments with this approach, it will be interesting to see how users respond and whether this model could become a more widespread practice in the world of social media.
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