Elon Musk Considers Charging for Access to X Platform

Elon Musk Considers Charging for Access to X Platform

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Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind X (formerly Twitter), is exploring the possibility of charging users to access the social media platform. This move comes as X’s subscription program, known as X Premium, has seen low adoption rates. Musk initially envisioned this program as a way to combat bots while generating additional revenue, but only 0.3% of X users have subscribed.

In a recent conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk discussed the idea of implementing a small monthly payment for the use of X. Musk believes that charging users could be an effective way to deter the vast armies of bots that plague the platform. By imposing a cost, even a minimal one, the effective expense of bots would increase, making them less appealing for malicious actors. The introduction of a payment method for accessing the platform could also create an extra layer of identity verification, as users would need to connect their bank accounts to their profiles.

In addition to this potential change, Musk hinted at the possibility of lower-tier pricing, making the platform more accessible to a broader audience. While details are scarce, there may be a cheaper verification offering that provides basic X Premium features or simply a verification tick to confirm identity.

This dual approach of charging for access and offering lower-priced alternatives could serve two purposes. Firstly, it would deter bot activity increasing costs. Secondly, it would align with Musk’s broader vision of in-app payments and banking, potentially integrating with X’s recently launched ID verification process.

However, there is a risk involved with implementing a paywall. It may result in reduced user engagement, particularly in developing markets where access costs are a significant barrier. Additionally, the majority of X users are passive consumers of content rather than active participants. Musk and his team will need to carefully consider how to strike a balance between deterring bots and maintaining user engagement.

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