X begins charging new users to post as part of trial

18 October 2023, 09:24

Twitter logo
Twitter logo. Picture: PA

New users in New Zealand and the Philippines will be required to pay one US dollar a year in order to post to the site and reply to others.

X, the site formerly known as Twitter, has started to charge new users to post and reply to others on the platform as part of a new trial it says is to combat bot accounts.

The scheme will see new users who sign up in New Zealand or the Philippines be required to pay a one dollar a year subscription in order to use key features on the site.

Those who choose not to pay the fee will only be able to follow accounts and read posts.

Until now, the site’s X Premium subscription has been the app’s only paid-for option, giving those who choose to pay the monthly fee access to additional tools such as the ability to edit posts after sending them, and to see their replies to posts be promoted above other, non-paying users.

In a post to the platform, the X Support account said the trial was part of plans to reduce bot and spam accounts on the site, something owner Elon Musk has repeatedly said he wants to combat.

“This new test was developed to bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity, while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. It is not a profit driver,” the company said.

“And so far, subscription options have proven to be the main solution that works at scale.”

Last month, Mr Musk suggested that all users could eventually have to pay to use the site.

Since completing his 44 billion dollar (£36.1 billion) takeover of Twitter last year, the Tesla and SpaceX boss has seen revenue decline as advertisers fled the platform over concerns around his “absolute free speech” policy and reduction of content moderation, which has led the company to seek new forms of income and the introduction of paid subscription options.

By Press Association

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