Elon Musk is planning to make X (formerly known as Twitter) a paid-for platform for all users.
In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the billionaire floated the idea of charging X users for the service.
“It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots, because a bot costs a fraction of a penny – call it a tenth of a penny but even if it has to pay a few dollars or something, the effective cost of bots is very high. Plus, every time a bot creator wanted to make another bot, they would need another new payment method.,” the Tesla and SpaceX boss said.
Since taking over Twitter last year, Musk has looked to incentivise users to pay for an enhanced service, which is now called X Premium.
Musk claims that X now has 550 million monthly users – that typically post 100 million to 200 million posts a day – although it’s not yet known what proportion of this data is bots versus authentic users.
This has been done by giving paid subscribers more features, like longer posts and increased visibility on the platform.
Users can currently still use X for free.
By putting X behind a paywall, it may lose a large chunk of its users. That in turn, could drive down advertising revenue, which currently accounts for the vast majority of the company’s income.
Musk’s conversation with the Israeli prime minister also touched on antisemitism on X.
The larger conversation between Musk and Netanyahu today focused on AI technology and its regulation, though the topic of hate speech on X came up. Here, Musk claimed he’s “against antisemitism” and “anything that promotes hate and conflict.”
(Picture Courtesy: Reuters)