Twitter, Now X, Rolls Out $1 Annual Fee For New Users

The social media platform formerly known as Twitter, now rebranded as X, has initiated a US$1 annual charge for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines.

According to Fortune, the subscription plan includes access to all key functions, including tweeting, replying, retweeting and liking.

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“As of October 17th, 2023 we’ve started testing ‘Not A Bot’, a new subscription method for new users in two countries,” the company said in a post.

“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 to X while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. Within this test, existing users are not affected.” 

Under this new subscription model, newly created accounts in New Zealand and the Philippines will need to verify their phone numbers and pay the $1 annual fee.

Users who opt not to subscribe will have limited capabilities, allowing them only to engage in “read-only” actions, such as viewing posts, watching videos, and following accounts.

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The $1 charge translates to approximately NZ$1.43 and 42.51 Philippine pesos. 

This solution has sparked controversy online, with one X user commenting, “Surely a bot farm is willing to pay $1 for that level of access and profit.”

“Work on better algorithms instead of making people pay,” one X user said.

The terms and conditions specify that the new charge is part of a beta program, and users who sign up must agree to recurring subscription payments.

Musk said the logic behind it was that the bot cost “a fraction of a penny” to set up, and raising the price of an account to “a few dollars or something” could put off operators of the software.

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