TECHNOLOGY

Elon Musk To Charge X New User $1 Yearly

 

Elon Musk’s social networking site, X, said it has started a new program that will require new, unverified accounts to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post and interact with other posts. 

The company said the program is now being tested in New Zealand and the Philippines in preparation for its global rollout. 

This, however, is not going to affect unverified existing users on the platform.  

X noted that new users who opt out of subscribing at the signup stage will only be able to take “read-only” actions, such as reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.

At signup, new users will be able to select from subscription options of $1 fee,  X Premium, or Verified Organizations. 

Despite strong moves by Elon Musk to turn its $44 billion acquisition into a profit-making company, X said the new program was not motivated by profit but to fight spam. 

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.

“This will evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X, while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. Within this test, existing users are not affected,” the company stated.

Elon Musk first hinted at the possibility of charging a fee to use X last month during a live-streamed conversation with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. While he did not say the exact amount at that time, Musk was planning a monthly subscription. 

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 The $1 annual fee came as a better offer compared with the “small monthly payment of a few dollars” earlier announced by Musk.  

 In response to Netanyahu’s concern that most views being expressed on X are mostly from an ‘army of bots’ Musk said:  

This is actually a super tough problem. And it’s probably really the single most important reason that we’re moving to have a small monthly payment for the use of X. It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots because a bot costs a fraction of a penny.

“But if somebody has to pay, you know, a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high. And then you also have to get a new payment method every time you have a new bot. So that actually had the constraint of how many different credit cards you can find even on the dark web or whatever.

“And we’re actually going to come up with a lower tier pricing. We just want it to be a small amount of money. This is a longer discussion, but in my view, this is actually the only defense against vast armies of bots, because as the AI gets very, very good, it’s actually able to pass these sorts of CAPTCHA tests better than humans.”

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