May 26, 2024
  • X may soon roll out a $1 subscription plan for new users, which would allow them to make tweets and interact with them
  • This is being done to fight the growing problem of bots on the platform
  • Users may continue to use X even without the subscription. However, they can only read tweets then.

You May Soon Have to Pay to Tweet on X, Hints Musk

Elon Musk has said that Twitter may charge new users a fee to allow them to tweet and interact on X. This is being done to fight the long-standing bot problem. Currently, there are many bot services offered, where users can buy ‘fake’ followers for a fee.

‘Unfortunately, a small fee for new user write access is the only way to curb the relentless onslaught of bots.’ – Elon Musk

X has already been testing the ‘Not a Bot’ initiative in New Zealand and the Philippines since October 2023, where new users have to pay a $1 fee to make tweets, like other’s tweets, and bookmark them. Musk believes extending this program to more countries is the only solution to deal with fake bots.

New users will have the option to use X without any payments, though. However, in that case, they will only be able to read other’s tweets for the first three months after registering on X.

A very, very important point to note is that after the first three months of restricted usage, you will be able to posts tweets as well as interact with them. So, simply put, you either pay the $1 fee or wait three months to use X.

Will A Subscription Fee Solve X’s Bot Problem?

Ever since Musk took over X, he has been very vocal about the bot problem. In September 2022, Musk admitted that 90% of the replies and comments on his tweets were from bot accounts.

However, there are several reasons why this $1 subscription may not solve the issue:

1. Not All Bots Can Be Deleted

There are different kinds of Twitter bots.

  • The first type is the mass-produced, easy-to-build bots.
  • The second category of bots is well-funded and comes from sophisticated sources.

Although this $1 subscription has proven effective in eliminating the low-quality bots, the sophisticated ones are difficult to get rid of. The only solution to identify them is to look into the actual web traffic.

2. Subscription Price Is Too Low

Secondly, the subscription price is kept at just $1, which shouldn’t really be a deterrent at all for bots that are made for reasons beyond just increasing followers.

Bot creators who engage in disrupting public opinion, meddling with elections, and spreading misinformation will not mind spending a dollar to continue doing what they do.

It’s like making a crime legal for a fee, instead of eliminating it altogether. It just doesn’t look like it’ll work.

3. Short Duration

The three-month window is more or less just a temporary fix. Malicious parties may make thousands of bots and simply wait for three months for their accounts to become fully active. Sure, this may temporarily reduce the number of active bots, but it isn’t a long-term solution.

We currently have no exact date and region where this fee structure will be implemented next. Also, Musk’s tryst with Twitter hasn’t been a pleasant one so far. From falling revenues to advertiser exodus, there’s a lot to repair at the moment.

Only last week, X started rolling out Premium features for free for users with 2,500+ ‘real followers’. However, the process of identifying ‘real’ accounts is the top-most challenge.


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