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Musk to put entire X (formerly twitter) behind paywall to tackle bot problem

“[We’re] moving to a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” Musk confided to Israeli PM Netanyahu, reported Bloomberg. He stressed that this was absolutely necessary to eliminate the problem of bots. Musk and Netanyahu had met for AI focused conversation but this important piece of information came out.

Musk stated that just making someone pay a few dollars to use the platform can make “the effective cost of bots” very high. A new payment method will be needed by the bot operators every time they wanted to create a new bot. He stated that under X’s current system a fraction of a penny is just what is needed to operate a bot. Therefore it’s the “single most important reason” to shift to a monthly payment system, he stated, reported Bloomberg.

While Musk resisted from specifying the timing or the cost of this subscription, he revealed that X presently boasts of 550 million monthly active users who generate between 100 million and 200 million posts daily.

Musk in the past mulled the idea of putting Twitter (now X) completely behind a paywall in internal conversations, according to Platformer (industry news site). The billionaire, who also owns SpaceX and Tesla, pointed out that X’s ad sales have dropped by approximately 50% since he bought out the company, causing negative cash flow owing to the drop in ad revenue and a heavy debt load. “We’re still negative cash flow, due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load,” Musk had posted on 15th July.

Presently, X offers a subscription program called X Blue (formerly Twitter Blue) starting at $8 per month. This subscription provides users with range of benefits, including cherished verified check-mark status, hugely increased character limits for posts (up to 25,000 characters), a one-hour window to edit post, a 50% drop in ads, prioritised post rankings in search and conversations, and the facility to upload longer videos (up to 3 hours or 8 gigabytes in size). Opportunity to earn a share of advertising revenue, largely from ads displayed in responses to their posts, has also become available to subscribers, reported Variety.


Problem of bots on X is severe and tackling it is a necessity. Putting X entirely behind a paywall can work as far as eliminating bots is concerned. But it can give rise to other issues. So, Musk needs to tread with caution.


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