The social network The experiment has been launched in New Zealand and the Philippines, where the company will charge the equivalent of one US dollar (1.43 New Zealand dollars and 42.51 Philippine pesos) to all new users. X assures that the measure seeks to “reduce unwanted messages, manipulation on the platform and bot activity.”
The social network already has other payment methods in place, but these add functionalities that are not available for basic accounts, such as the possibility of writing messages that exceed the 240 characters that characterized the platform’s publications. In this test, it will continue to allow new users to register without paying if they wish, but they will not be able to interact with other users, only consume content. That is, only people who pay that annual dollar will be able to post comments or republish, respond and ‘like’ other users’ posts.
“This will allow us to evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and junk accounts on X, while maintaining access to the platform in exchange for a reduced fee,” the social network explained in a statement. The social network assures that it will share the results of this experiment “soon.”
The announcement comes just two weeks after Elon Musk, owner of the company, explained in an interview that this type of fee for all users could be the only way to end bots and spam on X. “We are moving to have a small monthly payment for the use of the system,” declared the tycoon in a recent meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. “A few dollars or something like that,” he ventured.
Since acquiring it for $44 billion, Musk has stressed that his main objective is to eliminate bots and automated spam in X. However, all measures to eradicate it have also been focused on increasing the company’s income, which It was the only large social network that had failed to make profits on a recurring basis, losing money in seven of the last ten years before the sale to Musk.
One of the consequences of these policies has been the closure of third-party tools that interacted with the old Twitter, such as apps from independent developers or the programs that researchers used to analyze manipulation campaigns on the platform. Now, communicating with X’s database requires a price that neither of them can afford.
Recently Facebook and Instagram have also ventured the possibility of establishing paid versions of their services in Europe, although in their case the measure is aimed at satisfying privacy regulators.