Musk Declares War on Bots By Charging X Users a Monthly Fee

Musk Declares War on Bots By Charging X Users a Monthly Fee

Key Insights

  • Elon Musk is turning the social network X (formerly Twitter), into a paid platform for all users.
  • Musk believes this change is crucial to counter the significant presence of bots on the platform.
  • The cost of accessing X could be as little as ‘a few dollars’ monthly.

Elon Musk has made a momentous decision to transform the social platform X (formerly Twitter), which he acquired, into a paid service for all its users.

The billionaire cited this move as “the only way to combat the substantial armies of bots” that have plagued the platform.

While Musk did not disclose the exact pricing, he hinted that access to X could cost “a few dollars” per month.

Musk takes on bots, but X users will have to pay a monthly fee

This pivotal announcement came during a conversation between Elon Musk and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which was broadcast on the Prime Minister’s X account.

The biggest reason we’re moving to a low monthly fee for using X is because it’s the only way I could think of to combat massive armies of bots, the billionaire said.

According to him, the introduction of paid access is critical to the fight against bots due to the low cost of using them.

A bot costs a fraction of a penny, say a tenth of a penny, but if you have to pay a few dollars or something like that for it, some insignificant amount, then the effective cost of the bots becomes very high, Musk explained.

He did not say exactly how much access to his social network would cost, only noting that X’s management wants “it to be a small amount.”

This is not the first time Musk has referred to the problem with bots when announcing paid features in X. He also explained the decision to introduce a paid subscription costing $8 per month for users who want to receive a verification sign – a blue check.

The main problem is that it is [easy] to create 10,000 or 100,000 fake Twitter accounts using just one home computer and modern artificial intelligence. This is the reason why we rely on verification, which requires a number from a reliable mobile operator and a credit card, the businessman noted in April.

However, the launch of paid verification did not provide the social network with a stable influx of funds, which Musk was probably counting on. Sensor Tower analysts claimed that paid verification marks brought Twitter only $11 million in three months after their introduction.

In May, researcher Travis Brown told Mashable that Musk’s social network had between 640,000 and 680,000 paid subscribers as of late April. This brings the platform about $5 million per month, or $60 million per year, the publication indicated.

Musk himself said in November 2022 that Twitter was losing more than $4 million daily.

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