Elon Musk's X to introduce $1 subscription fee in bid to curb bots on social media platform

Elon Musk’s X, the rebranded version of Twitter, announced on Monday↗︎ a new initiative to tackle the persistent issue of bots and spam on its platform. The company is testing a new subscription model in New Zealand and the Philippines, requiring new web users to pay an annual fee of $1 for posting, liking, sharing, and replying to content.

In a post shared on the platform, Musk stated, “Starting today, we’re testing a new program (Not A Bot) in New Zealand and the Philippines. New, unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post & interact with other posts. Within this test, existing users are not affected.”

The move comes as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to maintain a healthy digital environment by curbing spam, manipulation, and bot activities. This strategic initiative is designed to strike a balance between accessibility and deterring misuse, with the nominal fee being a key component of the solution.

“This new test was developed to bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity, while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. It is not a profit driver. And so far, subscription options have proven to be the main solution that works at scale,” Musk explained.

Under the new system, users who choose not to subscribe will still have access to read posts, watch videos, and follow accounts, but they will be unable to actively engage with content or other users without the subscription.

Musk, known for his innovative approaches, believes that this subscription-based model will not only deter bots but also enhance the overall experience for genuine users.

The company reassured existing users that this test would not impact their current experience on the platform, emphasising that the subscription fee is primarily aimed at new, unverified accounts.