Elon Musk Says X Will Charge Users a Small Monthly Payment to Use its Service – Elon Musk, the owner of X, proposed yesterday that the social network previously recognized as Twitter might transition away from being a free platform. During a live-streamed discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Musk mentioned that the company was considering implementing a modest monthly fee for access to the X system.
He implied that this shift could be essential in addressing the issue of bots on the platform. “It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” explained Musk. “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,” he said.
Plus, every time a bot creator wanted to make another bot, they would need another new payment method. Musk didn’t say what the new subscription payment would cost, but described it as a “small amount of money.” In the course of the discussion, Musk also presented fresh statistics regarding X, indicating that the platform currently boasts 550 million monthly users who collectively produce 100 to 200 million daily posts.
Nevertheless, it remains uncertain whether Musk’s figures include automated accounts, encompassing both beneficial bots like news feeds and detrimental ones such as spammers, in these counts. This figure also didn’t allow for a direct comparison with Twitter’s user base pre-Musk, which was calculated using a specific metric Twitter had invented called the “average monetizable daily active user,” or mDAU.
This older metric indicated the users on Twitter who could be monetized by viewing its ads. During its last public earnings of Q1 2022 Twitter had 229 million mDAUs. Musk did not provide further details regarding his plan to introduce charges for X or specify when such changes might occur. However, since Musk assumed control of the platform last year, the company has been actively encouraging its users to sign up for its paid subscription service, known as X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue).
This subscription, priced at $8 per month or $84 per year, offers a range of features, including the ability to edit posts, reduced ad exposure, higher rankings in search and conversations, extended post lengths, and more. While X has not publicly disclosed the number of paid subscribers it has, independent research suggests that X Premium has not managed to attract the majority of X’s user base. For instance, one analysis indicated that only 827,615 users are currently subscribed to X Premium.
The concept of making X a paid service is not a recent consideration for Musk. In fact, Platformer reported last year that Musk was contemplating the possibility of placing the entire Twitter platform behind a paywall. Today’s broader discussion between Musk and Netanyahu primarily centered around AI technology and its regulation, although the issue of hate speech on X was also raised.
During this part of the conversation, Musk asserted his stance against antisemitism and any content that promotes hatred and conflict. It’s worth noting that Musk had recently engaged in a dispute, threatening to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League, which had accused both Musk and X of being antisemitic.