The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, and the wealthiest man in the world, indicated plans to start charging people for using X. He announced this potential plan during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Musk suggested that installing a paywall around the company was the perfect means of discouraging bot traffic. Because of bots, people will be charged to be on the platform.
Twitter’s upper-tier usage is called X Premium and requires a membership fee. This program costs $11 per month in the US for iPhones and £11 per month in the UK, and it includes benefits like a verified account checkmark.
Musk claims that the initial investment in a bot is negligible. It costs less than a penny. He suggested that software developers may be deterred by an increase in account fees to $5 or such. He stated that a new means of payment would be needed if a bot’s developer wanted to create additional bots.
Musk, known for making off-the-cuff comments, did not say whether or not X would move forward with a billing scheme.
Musk claimed that X’s 550 million monthly users publish 200 million new content daily. Before Musk bought the company in October 2022, the platform had 238 million monetizable daily active users, a distinct metric for measuring user engagement.
As advertising revenue, the platform’s principal source of income decreases, Musk has raised the prospect of establishing a paywall. Musk revealed that the company’s ad revenue dropped by 60% due to an advertiser boycott motivated by worries over his leadership of the platform and its treatment of offensive or racist content.
Musk and Netanyahu’s meeting was initially cast as a discussion about AI and technology, but the themes switched quickly to free speech and antisemitism. X was accused of not doing enough to combat racist content on the site.
Netanyahu hoped that Musk, within the bounds of the First Amendment, might find ways to confront and decrease antisemitism and other forms of intolerance on X.
Netanyahu stated, “I encourage and urge you to find the balance. The answer is a “tough one.”
Musk has spoken out against antisemitism on X and in favor of free speech.