Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, now X, the billionaire has made some less than favorable changes. Just recently, Musk discussed his future plans for X in a livestreamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In his conversation with the Prime Minister, Musk suggested the idea of charging all users on the platform a fee. He said, “[We’re] moving to a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” in order to combat “vast armies of bots.” He did not divulge just how much this plan would cost its users on the social network or what exactly the paid features would include. This is not the first time Musk has mulled over the idea of placing X behind a paywall. In the past, Musk has said that X’s ad sales have declined 50% since he bought the company. On July 15 Musk posted, “We’re still negative cash flow, due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load. Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else.”
Musk also shared specific metrics from X saying that it currently has 550 million “monthly users” who generate between 100 to 200 million posts per day, though it is uncertain what fraction of these users are authentic versus bots. While the discussion with Netanyahu was supposed to focus on the risks of AI and how to regulate it, Musk also took the opportunity to dispute the fact that his platform tolerates hate speech and antisemitism, though Musk himself has repeatedly made comments that disparaged ransgender people, federal regulators, politicians, journalists, whistleblowers, critics of his companies and more.
At the moment, X does have a have a subscription program, formerly known as Twitter Blue and now X Blue. The pricing for the program begins at $8 USD per month. It is uncertain when the new pricing fee will take place later this year or down the line.
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