BE prepared to fork out money to Elon Musk, as the multibillionaire has now decided to charge new users on X (formerly Twitter) US$1 (RM4.7) annually to use the social media platform.
First reported by Fortune in an exclusive scoop before the official announcement went live, the subscription is part of X’s “Not a Bot” programme, which seeks to prolong Musk’s campaign to “reduce spam, manipulation of the platform and bot activity”.
First up on the chopping block will be test markets in New Zealand and the Philippines. Detailed on X’s help centre, new accounts (made through the website) will first need to verify their phone numbers and then choose one of the three subscription plans, with the basic being the one with an annual fee.
Those that choose not to subscribe will be relegated to only being able to do “read only” actions, such as reading posts, watching videos and following accounts. According to the help centre, the pricing for the annual fee will vary by country and currency.
In New Zealand, it will cost new users NZ$1.43 (RM3.97) a year, while in the Philippines, it will cost P42.51 (RM3.57). Musk later posted that the subscription is “the only way to fight bots without blocking real users”, but has not said anything about existing bot farms.