X (formerly Twitter) launches $1 annual subscription plan for basic features in a test to reduce bots and spam
X, formerly known as Twitter, announced on Tuesday that it’s rolling out a new subscription model in a test to reduce bots and spam. The new $1 annual subscription plan called “Not A Bot,” will charge users for actions like liking, reposting, quoting other users’ posts, and bookmarking posts when using the web version of the platform.
The news comes about a month after X owner, Elon Musk, announced that the company will charge all users a small monthly subscription fee to use its service. During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk said: “We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system.”
According to the announcement, this new subscription model will be initially tested with users in New Zealand and the Philippines. For existing users, there will be no immediate impact. However, new users who opt not to subscribe will have limited functionality, allowing them to view and read posts, watch videos, and follow accounts.
The primary aim behind this new subscription model is to combat bots and spammers. X has stated that the fee will vary depending on the user’s country and the applicable exchange rate. X believes that implementing a nominal fee can reduce the creation of spam accounts.
Addressing the issue of bots and spam has been a priority for X, particularly since Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company last year. In July, X introduced limits on viewing tweets to ensure the authenticity of its user base.
Although the $1 annual subscription is budget-friendly, its effectiveness in deterring spam and bot activity remains uncertain. Some experts argue that the fee might be too low to serve as a genuine deterrent, as spammers may be willing to pay it to continue creating spam accounts.
Conversely, other experts view this $1 subscription as a positive initial step. They suggest that X should contemplate raising the fee in the future if it proves insufficient in curtailing spam and bots.
It’s essential to note that the $1 annual subscription only covers basic features. Those seeking access to premium features, such as tweet editing and longer video uploads, will need to opt for a higher subscription. In summary, the outcome of the $1 annual subscription’s impact on reducing spam and bot activity on X remains uncertain. Nonetheless, it represents a proactive move by the company to address this lingering issue.