Reported By: Shaurya Sharma
Last Updated: October 18, 2023, 08:42 IST
San Francisco, California, USA
Elon Musk’s X (formerly known as Twitter) will now charge you $1 per year to use it as a new user from the Philippines or New Zealand, the company has quietly revealed via a new support document in its help center, and though a post from the platform’s official account.
This program, called ‘Not A Bot,’ is said to be a subscription model for “new users” in the Philippines and New Zealand. “This new test was developed to bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity,” X notes. “This will evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X,” as it allegedly balances the platform’s “accessibility with the small fee amount.” But notably, already existing users won’t be asked to pay the $1 fee.
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.This…
— Support (@Support) October 17, 2023
Simply put, if you are a new user looking to make an account on X, and if you are from the Philippines or New Zealand, prepare to pay $1 per year to X to be able to use it.
But one key factor users must note is the fact that they may still be able to make “read-only” accounts to read what is happening on X, but if they want to “write,” they would need to shell out the $1 fee.
Since then, Elon Musk, too, has confirmed this development. “Correct, read for free, but $1/year to write. It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users,” Musk said, replying to a user on X. Musk also added, “This won’t stop bots completely, but it will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform.”
X Will Verify Phone Numbers, Ask Users To Select Their Subscription Tier
As mentioned on X’s ‘Not A Bot’ support page, X will first ask users to verify their phone numbers when they sign up, and then they will be asked to choose from the $1 annual plan, X Premium, or Verified Organizations. As Musk mentioned, any new users who choose not to subscribe and use X for free will only be able to perform “read-only” actions, such as reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
With that said, it isn’t clear if this test program would follow suit in other countries outside the Philippines and New Zealand, but considering Musk is following the narrative of taking the fight against the bots, it could be possible that this $1 per year model is expanded to other countries as well—because, of course, the bots aren’t only from the Philippines and New Zealand.