X, the platform formerly recognized as Twitter, has introduced an innovative initiative, mandating new and unverified users to pay an annual subscription fee of $1 alongside a signup charge. This significant development was conveyed through an official statement posted on the social media network’s support account on October 18, 2023.
According to X, this program is currently undergoing trials in New Zealand and the Philippines, permitting new accounts to actively engage with posts and interact with other users. The statement from X articulates, “Commencing today, we’re in the process of testing a novel program, ‘Not A Bot,’ in New Zealand and the Philippines.
“Freshly registered, unverified accounts will be required to commit to a $1 annual subscription, granting them access to post content and engage with other user posts. It’s essential to underscore that this trial has no impact on existing users.
“This innovative testing initiative has been designed to enhance our existing, effective measures against spam, platform manipulation, and automated bot activities. It aims to maintain the accessibility of the platform while offsetting costs through this nominal subscription fee. It is not driven by profit motives.
“So far, subscription options have proven to be the most practical, scalable solution in tackling these issues.”
In a tweet shared on Wednesday, Elon Musk, Chairman of X, elaborated on the rationale behind the annual subscription fee. According to Musk, this fee structure is intended to curtail spam and the prevalence of automated bot accounts. Musk stated, “That’s correct. Reading remains free, but writing requires a $1/year subscription. This is our most effective strategy to combat bots without unduly hindering genuine users.
“While it may not completely eliminate bot activity, it will certainly make it exponentially more challenging to manipulate the platform.”