X Starts Experimenting With a $1 Per Year Fee for New Users – X, previously known as Twitter, revealed today that it is initiating a new trial, introducing a $1 annual fee for “new unverified” users to engage with posts. This experiment is presently underway in New Zealand and the Philippines, with no impact on existing users.
For the aforementioned fee, users will be able to create and interact with posts, including liking, reposting, replying, bookmarking, and quoting. New users who opt for the free option will have a read-only account, allowing them to view posts and follow accounts. The company’s support account clarified that this “Not A bot” program is not a profit driver — but it’s hard to take reason at face value.
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The Elon Musk-owned company said that this program will help it reduce spam. “This new test was developed to bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. It is not a profit driver,” the company said.
The company has stated on its support page that it intends to share the program’s results in combating spam to the public. The move comes after Musk said that X is planning to charge users “a small monthly payment” to use its service. While the payment in the test program is annual, ethos is the same.
Back in June, X, formerly known as Twitter, initially implemented a requirement for users to log in to access posts, but shortly afterward, they reversed this decision, permitting logged-out users to view posts. A recent report from market intelligence firm Similarweb indicates a decline in X’s traffic one year after Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition. In response, the company has been taking significant cost-cutting measures to achieve profitability.
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In a recent interview, X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, expressed her confidence in the company becoming profitable by 2024, but she avoided addressing questions regarding potential user fees. As of now, X offers only one paid plan at $8 per month. However, there is evidence in recently discovered code suggesting that the company may introduce three premium tiers, one of which could be entirely ad-free.