On Wednesday, Elon Musk’s X (formerly known as Twitter) announced that it is testing a new paid subscription service for “new users” in New Zealand and the Philippines, allowing them to post and interact with other posts on the platform.
X Is Charging New Users $1 a year to use basic features
This new program, called ‘Not A Bot,’ is a paid subscription model designed to defend against bots and spammers who attempt to manipulate the platform and disturb the experience of other X users.
Under the new program, new users in New Zealand and the Philippines will be required to pay a $1 annual fee to access basic features of the platform.
“This new test was developed to bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity. 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,” the company revealed via a new support document on its Help Center page.
Starting today, we're testing a new program (Not A Bot) in New Zealand and the Philippines. New, unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post & interact with other posts. Within this test, existing users are not affected.
— Support (@Support) October 17, 2023
Musk, too, confirmed the development of the new program. “Correct, read for free, but $1/year to write. It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users,” he said, replying to a user on X.
Musk added, “This won’t stop bots completely, but it will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform.”
If you are creating a new web account on X for the first time in either New Zealand or the Philippines, you must verify your phone number first.
The next step would be to select the ‘Not A Bot’ program by paying a $1 Annual Fee (prices vary by country and currency) to be able to carry out specific actions on the web version of the platform, such as post content, Like posts, Reply, Repost and Quote other accounts’ posts, and Bookmark post.
Further, you will also get an option to opt for the “X Premium” subscription model, an opt-in, paid subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account and offers early access to select features, like Edit post. Additionally, you also have the option to choose the “Verified Organizations” plan.
According to X, new X users who opt out of the $1 per year fee plan can only take “read only” actions, such as: Read posts, Watch videos, and Follow accounts.
However, the new program does not affect existing X users, which means those already using the platform without opting for the X premium plan need not pay the $1 annual subscription fee.
The “Not a Bot” subscription plan will cost $1.43 NZD and ₱42.51 PHP for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines, respectively. However, it is unclear when the paid subscription would be expanded to other countries.