Sunday, April 14, 2024

X Considers Charging Users Amid Battle


Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly known as Twitter), has hinted at a potential change in the platform’s business model. He mentioned that X is considering implementing a paywall for all users to address the issue of automated accounts, known as bots, which have been causing problems on the platform. In a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk stated that X would introduce a small monthly fee for using the platform. Currently, Twitter only charges for its premium service, X Premium, which offers features like a verified account checkmark for $11 a month in the US and £11 in the UK.

Musk explained that bots are inexpensive to set up, costing only a fraction of a penny. By increasing the cost of creating and maintaining an account to “a few dollars or something,” X hopes to discourage bot operators. Musk also pointed out that implementing a paywall would require bot creators to use new payment methods each time they want to create another bot.

Elon Musk statement about implementing:

It’s important to note that Musk’s statement about implementing a paywall does not confirm that X will definitely proceed with this policy. Further comments from X on this matter are awaited.

Musk also shared some statistics about X, revealing that the platform has 550 million monthly users who generate up to 200 million posts daily. Before Musk’s acquisition of the platform in October 2022, X used a different metric to measure its user base, which was monetizable daily active users, standing at 238 million.

The potential introduction of a paywall comes as X faces a decline in its advertising revenue, which has historically been its primary source of income. Musk cited a 60% decrease in ad revenue, partly due to advertiser boycotts driven by concerns about his leadership and X’s handling of inappropriate or hateful content.

Elon Musk

During his conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Musk’s discussion on technology and artificial intelligence quickly turned to the topics of free speech and antisemitism on X. There have been accusations that X has not done enough to combat racist speech on the platform. Netanyahu expressed hope that Musk would find a way to address antisemitism and other forms of hatred within the boundaries of the First Amendment, which protects free speech in the United States.

Netanyahu emphasized the need to strike a balance between free speech and tackling hate speech, acknowledging that it is a challenging task. Musk stated on X that he supports free speech but is against any form of antisemitism.

In summary, Elon Musk has suggested that X is considering implementing a paywall for all users to deter bots and address declining ad revenue. While Musk’s statement is not a confirmation of this change, it reflects his concerns about automated accounts on the platform. Additionally, his conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu touched on the issue of free speech and antisemitism on X, highlighting the challenges of moderating content while upholding the principles of free expression.

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