If you want to use X, which was once called Twitter, on their website in New Zealand and the Philippines, you’ll need to pay $1 each year. This payment is part of a program called “Not A Bot.” They are starting this program in these two countries to make their platform safer by reducing spam, manipulation, and automated bot activity.
New users in New Zealand and the Philippines will also have to confirm their accounts with a phone number. Before X made this announcement, there were reports that Elon Musk would start charging new users $1 per year.
X’s Subscription Model
X’s post doesn’t explain why they’re charging new web users $1 for a subscription but not doing the same for mobile app users. It also doesn’t clarify why they’re only launching the “Not a Bot” program in two countries. One possible reason could be that X has observed more fake account activity in these areas, especially on their website where it’s easier to create fake accounts.
For those who choose not to subscribe, they will have limited capabilities, like only being able to read posts and watch videos on the platform. Interestingly, the “Not A Bot” terms and conditions mention that people can also subscribe through X’s iOS and Android apps, even though the main post on X’s help center only talks about the web.
In addition to X’s regular $8 per month subscription, this new program is being introduced. Elon Musk, who has taken charge of Twitter, has always believed that charging for the service will discourage the use of automated bot accounts. However, only a very tiny number of users actually pay for the subscription. At the same time, he’s been proudly talking about how people are spending more time on X than ever before.
Elon Musk’s Vision for Twitter
Elon Musk has often mentioned the idea of charging users $1 for the platform as a way to deal with large numbers of automated bot accounts. This move would also help Musk’s goal of transforming X into an “everything app” where users can buy things directly through the app, among other features.
However, because of the company’s somewhat chaotic reputation under Musk’s leadership, some users are hesitant to provide their credit card information in light of the $1 plan.
Since Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in November 2022, the company has undergone a series of seemingly disorganized changes, including significant layoffs resulting in a 75% reduction in staff and a more relaxed approach to monitoring content.
Musk has defended these changes as part of his commitment to free speech, but many major brands have stopped advertising on X due to concerns about the platform’s handling of offensive content.
In May, Elon Musk appointed Linda Yaccorino, who was the advertising leader at NBC Universal, as the CEO of X. This move aimed to attract major brand advertisers back to the platform.
During a conversation at Vox’s Code Conference the previous month, Yaccarino mentioned that 90% of the top 100 advertisers had returned to the platform within the last 12 weeks, and the company was getting closer to reaching a point where its operating cash flow covers its costs.
However, some people have doubts about Yaccarino’s ability to rebuild the advertising business, mainly because of Musk’s tendency to make impulsive decisions that might not be in the platform’s best interests.
When asked at the Code conference how Musk’s previous idea about a subscription model might impact ad revenue, Yaccarino responded with uncertainty, asking whether Musk had definitively said that or if he was just thinking about it.
Elon Musk is introducing a $1 subscription on Twitter in New Zealand and the Philippines to tackle spam and fake accounts. This comes with some questions about why it’s only in these two places and what it means for users.
As Twitter tries to become an all-in-one app, there are challenges due to changes and concerns from users because of Musk’s leadership. Linda Yaccorino is now the CEO to help bring back advertisers to Twitter, but people are unsure because of Musk’s quick decisions. Twitter’s future depends on its subscription plan and how it handles advertising.