He said “some minor amount” may be charged to users in order to deter the proliferation of bots on the platform.
“This is a super-tough problem. It’s the single most important reason we’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system, because it’s the only way I can think of to combat the vast armies of bots,” says Musk.
“A bot costs a fraction of a penny, say a tenth of a penny. But if someone has to pay a few dollars, some minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high. Then you also have to get a new payment method every time you have a new bot.”
The suggestion is not that every X user will have to subscribe to X Premium, the service once known as Twitter Blue, which costs upwards of £9.60 a month in the UK.
“We’re going to come out with a lower tier of pricing,” says Musk, although he gives no timescale on when these plans may be implemented.
He also claimed the X platform now has 550 million active users a month, up from the 531 million he tweeted about on July 28. The figure was closer to 229 million in mid-2022.
Musk has not, however, announced how many people have signed up for X Premium. Early reports, back when this subscription was called Twitter Blue, suggested initial attrition rates were high. Mashable says a relatively lowly 94,000 people signed up for X Premium between the start of July and August 10.
One of X’s more recent tactics to encourage sign-ups is the platform’s Ads Revenue Sharing scheme, which launched at the end of July. It lets users with an X Premium subscription take a share of the revenues drummed up through reactions to accounts’ tweets.