Hiding behind the mask of combating the proliferation of bots and fake accounts, X, formerly Twitter is testing a new initiative called the ‘Not-a-Bot’ program. This program will require new users to pay a nominal annual fee of $1 to post content, like posts, and access other features.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter/X, has stated that this small annual service fee could help fight off bot operations on the social media platform. A subscription for all users would make “the effective cost of bots” very high and would require operators to use a new payment method for each account
The ‘Not-a-Bot’ program requires new users to verify their phone number and opt for a subscription plan. The subscription, priced at $1 USD annually (prices may vary by country and currency), allows subscribers to post content, like posts, reply, repost and quote other accounts’ posts, and bookmark posts. Non-subscribers will have “read-only” access to the platform, which includes reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
This strategic move is part of Elon Musk’s plan to increase the profitability of the platform. Musk, who acquired Twitter in 2022, has been implementing strategies such as monetizing tweets, increasing celebrity interaction, and slashing high-level salaries. He has also proposed charging users for direct messaging celebrity users and viewing exclusive content from paid, verified users.
“As of October 17th, 2023, we’ve started testing “Not A Bot”, a new subscription method for new users in two countries (New Zealand and the Philippines). This new test was developed to bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity.” X said in a statement.
The Not-a-bot program is an alternative to X Premium a subscription service that offers additional functionality. Users seeking write-level functionality on X may choose either the Program or an X Premium tier.
While these strategies aim to boost user engagement and generate additional revenue for the platform, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the user experience and the overall profitability of Twitter in the long run.
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.