Twitter, X – or whatever you want to call it – is apparently intent on introducing a "small monthly payment" in exchange for users being able to use the platform.
Elon Musk, the social media site's owner, explained during a live stream with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that he was considering implementing the charge in order to combat Twitter's "vast armies of bots."
FYI, bots is essentially short for 'internet robots', which describe a software programmed to complete certain tasks, including imitating or replacing a human user's behaviour. It's already been noted that Twitter has a big bot problem – that is wrecking user experience and alienating users due to "inauthentic or annoying messages". Plus, cybercriminals have previously used the platform to spread sinister content containing malware, and misinformaiton, to large groups of users simultaneously.
During the conversation, Musk said that he was "moving to having a small, monthly payment for use of the X system," but did not go into detail as to how much the fee would be. Nor did he mention whether subscribers would inherit additional features in exchange for the payment.
However, he did reveal that currently, 'X' has 550 million monthly users which – per day – generate between 100 to 200 million posts. While it's unclear as to whether the half-a-billion+ profiles include the growing amount of bots, Musk noted that the "small amount of money" is essential for tackling the problem.
But how? According to the tech mogul, it's simple really. And also the "only way" he "can think of to combat vast armies of bots. "In a nutshell, the fee would make it harder for bots to create Twitter/X accounts, as each bot would require a new credit card in order to register."
The news of a monthly subscription isn't the first change Twitter has encountered since the X Corp owner and billionaire purchased the platform back in late 2022. For example, verified accounts were stripped of their 'blue tick' if they opted out of the monthly $8 fee, and Musk infamously cut thousands of jobs and restructured staff after he said the site was losing $4 million a day.
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