Elon Musk Indicates That X Might Soon Start Charging New Users for Basic Actions Such as Liking, Bookmarking, and Replying To Posts

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Elon Musk appears to be leaning toward a thermonuclear option of sorts to deal with the longstanding problem of bots on his X platform if his latest comments are anything to go by.

To wit, X Updates Radar has just noted a “text strings” change for the platform that appears to highlight a policy whereby new users might now be charged a small annual fee for performing basic actions, including liking, bookmarking, and replying to posts. Bear in mind that this policy was previously active only in New Zealand and the Philippines.

Elon Musk has all but confirmed that the policy change is coming by noting that a monetary charge on new users “is the only way to curb the relentless onslaught of bots.” The move, however, can backfire by dramatically slowing the onboarding of new users.

Do note that Musk has repeatedly railed against the proliferation of bots on the X platform, going so far as to flag their existence for trying to renege on his pledge to take the social media platform private in 2022.

Of course, the implementation of this measure will enhance X’s depleting revenue. In recent months, the platform has introduced an ad-revenue-sharing program for content creators. X has also pivoted toward videos by allowing users to upload long-form visual content and inked high-profile deals with celebrities such as Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon to host their content on the social media platform.

According to Bloomberg, X earned $2.5 billion in revenue in 2023, which corresponds to around $600 million in quarterly ad revenue vs. the $1 billion figure that was the norm in the pre-Musk era, prompting Fidelity to reduce the market value of its stake in X by a whopping 70 percent. The mega-billionaire is also trying to establish the platform as a marketplace for jobs while also dabbling in the payments sphere.

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