Elon Musk Proposes A Small Monthly Payment For X Users


In a surprising announcement, Elon Musk, the owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, revealed that the social networking platform may soon start charging users a monthly fee. Musk made these comments during a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing the issue of bot activity on the site.

Key Takeaway

Elon Musk has suggested that X may introduce a small monthly payment to combat bot activity on the platform. This proposal aims to deter bot creators by increasing the cost of operating bots. However, the exact amount of the subscription fee and its impact on X’s popularity are yet to be determined.

A Solution to Combat Bots

Musk emphasized that the introduction of a subscription fee would help tackle the problem of bots on X. He explained that the cost to create and operate a bot is minimal, as low as a fraction of a penny. By implementing a small monthly payment, even a few dollars, the effectiveness of these bots could be significantly reduced. Additionally, making payment necessary for creating bots would discourage their proliferation.

The Cost of the Subscription

While Musk did not provide specific details, he described the proposed monthly payment as a “small amount of money.” It remains to be seen how X users would respond to such a change and whether the introduction of a paywall will affect the platform’s popularity.

Concerns and Metrics

Musk’s comments raised concerns about the inclusion of automated accounts, both legitimate news feeds and spam accounts, in X’s user metrics. He highlighted that X currently boasts an impressive user base of 550 million monthly users, generating 100 to 200 million posts daily. However, it is unclear whether these figures incorporate automated accounts or only refer to active human users.

Comparing these numbers to Twitter’s pre-Musk user base proves challenging due to different calculation methods. Previously, Twitter used the metric of “average monetizable daily active user” (mDAU) to gauge its user base’s size. The company reported having 229 million mDAUs during its Q1 2022 earnings report.

Promoting X Premium

Since taking over X, Musk has actively encouraged users to subscribe to X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue), a paid subscription product. With a monthly cost of $8 or an annual fee of $84, X Premium offers various features such as post editing, reduced advertisement load, prioritized rankings, longer post capabilities, and more. Despite these offerings, it appears that only a fraction of X users have subscribed to the premium service, with research indicating a current subscriber base of 827,615.

Future Plans for X

While Musk did not elaborate on the timeline or specifics of the proposed payment system, speculations about a potential paywall for X have circulated previously. The discussion between Musk and Netanyahu primarily focused on AI technology and its regulation, with the topic of hate speech on X briefly touched upon. Musk reiterated his stance against antisemitism and any content promoting hate and conflict, despite recent allegations from the Anti-Defamation League.

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