The Elon Musk-owned social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, has begun rolling out a $1 annual subscription plan to new users in a move the company says is aimed at combating bots.
The plan is initially available in New Zealand and the Philippines and is expected to be expanded to other countries soon.
Titled “Not A Bot”, the new subscription plan is developed to “bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity,” X said.
New, unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post and interact with others.
“This will evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount,” it added.
The company said it is not a profit driver and existing users will not be affected.
Elon Musk first revealed his intention to launch such a plan last month during a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Musk told Netanyahu that X was “moving to have a small monthly payment for use of the X system” in order to combat “vast armies of bots”.
New accounts created on X in New Zealand and the Philippines will first be required to verify their phone number. Following the verification, the user can choose one of the three subscription plans — annual $1 subscription, $8/month X Premium, and $1,000/month for verified organizations.
The cost of these plans varies from country to country and currency. The $1 annual plan will be $1.43 NZD per year in New Zealand and ₱42.51 PHP per year in the Philippines.
Using the $1 plan, new users will be able to perform certain actions on the web version of the platform, such as post content, like posts, reply, repost, and quote other accounts’ posts, and bookmark posts.
New users who opt out of subscribing will only be able to take “read only” actions such as reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
“This new program aims to defend against bots and spammers who attempt to manipulate the platform and disrupt the experience of other X users. We look forward to sharing more about the results soon,” X said.
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