Elon Musk, the CEO of X, formerly Twitter, on Monday said that he is moving to require all users to pay a monthly fee to use the platform. This comes as the company struggles to regain trust with advertisers.
Musk said that the single most important reason for the move is to combat vast armies of bots which amplify hate speech. He said that adding a subscription would make it much more difficult for bots to create accounts, because each bot would need to register a new credit card.
He said this while having a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a live stream on X.
Musk said that the company plans to come up with a lower tier pricing than what it currently charges for its X Premium subscribers, which is around Sh 1,200 ($8 monthly.)
The move to a subscription-based model is a significant one for X, which has been free to use for everyone since its launch in 2006. It is also a controversial move, as some users have expressed concerns that it will make the platform less accessible and less diverse.
However, Musk has defended the move, arguing that it is necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the platform. He has also said that the company will continue to offer a free tier to users who cannot afford to pay.
It is unclear whether Musk's plan will be successful. Few social networks operate on subscriptions only, although more are experimenting with subscription products amid a weak ad market. Data shows that adoption of Premium X, the renamed subscription product that was formerly Twitter Blue, was slow, as of earlier this year.
However, Musk is a known risk-taker, and he has a track record of success in disrupting industries. It is possible that he will be able to make X a successful subscription-based platform.
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The move to a subscription-based model could have a number of implications for X users. First, it could lead to a decrease in the number of users on the platform. This is because some users may be unwilling or unable to pay the monthly fee.
Second, the move to a subscription-based model could lead to a change in the demographics of X users. This is because users who are willing to pay for the platform are more likely to be affluent and educated.
Third, the move to a subscription-based model could lead to a change in the content on the platform. This is because users who are paying for the platform may be more likely to demand high-quality content.
It remains to be seen whether Musk's plan to make X a subscription-based platform will be successful. However, the move is a significant one, and it is likely to have a major impact on the platform and its users.