Confirming the earlier speculations, the owner of the X corporation, Elon Musk indicated that X, also formerly known as Twitter, is considering charging all users for accessing the platform.
A Prospect To Charge All Users A Subscription Fees
According to Musk, erecting a paywall around the business would ward off the bots, or automated accounts, that have become a bugbear for Musk.
The Tesla CEO and world’s richest person suggested that X was going to charge its user base, while Speaking in a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.
Twitter only charges users for its subscription service X Premium presently.
As part of this offer, the company provides facilities such as a verified account checkmark and costs $11 a month in the US for iPhones and £11 in the UK.
Further, Musk added, “We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system.”
He said the bots cost “a fraction of a penny” to set up, adding that raising the cost of an account to “a few dollars or something” could put off operators of the software.
“Plus, every time a bot creator wanted to make another bot, they would need another new payment method,” Musk added.
Why Would This Happen?
As we know that Musk has a history of making impromptu statements, but he did not confirm whether X would definitely push ahead with a charging policy and no further comment came from the X corporation.
While talking about the users, Musk noted that X had 550 million monthly users generating up to 200m posts a day.
The numbers seems to have doubled as the platform had measured its user base by a different method previously, monetizable daily active users, which stood at 238 million before Musk bought the business in October 2022.
The prospect of a paywall comes at a time when the platform battles an entrenched decline in advertising, its main source of income.
Musk clarified that an advertiser boycott, spurred by concerns over his leadership of the platform and its management of inappropriate or hateful content, has caused ad revenue to decline by 60%.
In the start, Musk’s conversation with Netanyahu was billed as a discussion about technology and artificial intelligence.
However, soon it turned to free speech and antisemitism amid accusations that X was not doing enough to tackle racist speech on the platform.
Netanyahu hoped that Musk would find ways within the confines of the first amendment to clamp down on antisemitism and other forms of hatred on X.
Further, Netanyahu added “I encourage you and urge you to find the balance. It’s a tough one.”
Earlier, Musk has used his account on X to say that he is “pro-free speech, but against antisemitism of any kind”.