Elon Musk wants to charge all users of X, formerly Twitter, a monthly fee


Posts: 9,130   +117
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A hot potato: Not for the first time, Elon Musk has suggested that he might be preparing to make former Twitter platform X a subscription-only service, charging all users a "small monthly payment." The world's richest man claims the move is necessary as it's the only way to stamp out the bot problem.

Musk revealed his plans for X yesterday during a livestreamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "[We're] moving to a small monthly payment for use of the X system," Musk said, adding that such a controversial move was the only way to address the 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," Musk explained. The fact that a bot creator would have to pay every time they made another bot would also act as a deterrent.

Musk never said how much people would have to pay to use X beyond it being a "small amount of money," or if users would receive extra features with their subs. The tier would be cheaper than X Premium, which offers extra benefits such as a blue checkmark (which can be hidden) and the ability to edit posts for $8 per month/$84 per year. Subscribers also see half the number of ads, get prioritized rankings in search, have the ability to write longer posts, and more. But it's estimated that just 827,615 users subscribe to X Premium.

Musk also told Netanyahu that X has 550 million monthly active users who create 100 million to 200 million posts daily on the platform. He never mentioned how many of these were automated accounts, including bots. The figures were calculated using a new metric, making comparison to pre-Musk Twitter times difficult.

This isn't the first time Musk has discussed putting the whole of X behind a paywall, though he wasn't as open about the plans before.

Musk claimed X's bot problem was the reason why he tried to pull out of buying Twitter (as it still was then) last year. He argued that around 20% or more of its users could be fakes/bots, much more than the 5% the company claimed.

Other topics of conversation with Netanyahu included the potential risks presented by AI and regulation within the industry, as well as allegations that X is lenient on those posting hate speech and antisemitism on the platform.

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Posts: 1,855   +813
"The free speech billionaire can 🖕"

For reals. I don't actively tweet but I do follow quite a few content creators, artists, and a handful of friends that are active on the platform. I won't pay a single cent either, and hope the internet can collectively decide where to migrate next sooner than later.

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,774   +9,125
The brilliant (in HIS mind) young billionaire just can't admit to himself or others and he made a major mistake and now he wants everyone else to pay for his mistake. Glad to say I have never used and will never use ANY product that Musk's name or wallet is attached to ..... what a looser ....


Posts: 1,576   +2,383
This will decrease the total number of accounts but I'm not sure about the bot-to-user ratio. Actual consumers tend to be choosy with their limited household budgets, while paid marketing & influencing has always had a business-sized (or military or government)-sized budget. I'd expect specialized firms to pop up who keep an ever-changing fleet of bots in operation and charge their clients for its use. I'd also expect a brisk trade in compromised paid accounts for this purpose. That's assuming there's enough of an actual audience left to make it worthwhile which maybe is not guaranteed in the long run.


Posts: 2,355   +4,667
Bluesky really needs to do an open beta and ditch the invite system it's the perfect time to have most people move over and kill twitter for good.
I think most Twitter users are not going to pay to use it, thus usage and content will fall to an all time low. No one will want to pay when no one is tweeting. They definitely need to curb the bot problem, but this isn't it. Its like the guy is intentionally trying to run the platform into the ground. I have been on the bluesky wait list for over a year, hopefully they will open it up soon.


Posts: 9,186   +8,825
The brilliant (in HIS mind) young billionaire just can't admit to himself or others and he made a major mistake and now he wants everyone else to pay for his mistake. Glad to say I have never used and will never use ANY product that Musk's name or wallet is attached to ..... what a looser ....
Right there with you.

This article's subtitle should have been "To make up for lost advertising".

Almost of all of what Musk spouts is BS, IMO. First class clown is he.


Posts: 1,013   +1,552
If it's anything more than $1 a month, I won't pay for it. I think most users would be fine with a few dollars one-time fee or something tiny like $1 or less/month. If it's to curb the bot problem and there really are tons of bots, then any charge will be a problem for those operating bot networks.

But I think most users simply read and not reply anyways, so this may not affect a lot of people. I for one have only 500+ posts after signing up ~15 years ago. I primarily started using it to stay up to date one some things anyways.
I know many people will be leaving Twitter(X) if elon musk force/made everyone pays for it. But on the contrary, why not make free user account that cannot post a tweet or best of all make it cost a dime for a post then.
Ah! thats something to think about right? ...no


Posts: 401   +264
I'm afraid this will probably mean that X becomes used by very few people and simply disappears. It would be like someone reviving AltaVista as a competitor to Google, but you would have to pay a small amount of money in order to search!


Posts: 39   +31
Like most of Musks idea for twitter, it will backfire hard.
Musk still does not seem to understand that the trial and error approach does not work well for something with a large user base (that era not necessarily Musk-fans).
Especially if that 'something' is the entire product/service or affects the entire product/service. (Contrary to Tesla where in most cases you still have your working car when they make undesired changes to part of the software. And even there some changes have backfired with users.)


Posts: 39   +31
Even a fail forward announcement strategy to test ideas gives people the creeps. Users want reliability and continuity to invest in something, and the image of someone who changes his strategy faster than his underwear does not help with that.