(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) Elon Musk’s Twitter announced that it will begin charging new users $1 a year to access key features, such as tweeting, replying and quoting.
Starting today, we’re testing a new program (Not A Bot) in New Zealand and the Philippines. New, unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post & interact with other posts. Within this test, existing users are not affected.
— Support (@Support) October 17, 2023
On Tuesday, the company will implement the practice for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines, marking one of the most significant changes to Twitter since Musk bought the company nearly a year ago.
Instead of being a money-making endeavor, the reasoning behind the decision was to curb the prevalence of bots and spam on the platform, Twitter’s Support wrote.
“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,” Twitter said.
The company added that the $1 annual charge is only for new users, which means that the already existing users won’t need to pay for anything. It wasn’t clear if or when the payment plan will be expanded to users in other countries.
This program is also different from X Premium, which offers extra features like “undo” and “edit” for posts for $8 a month, Fortune reported.
Even though $1 is not a lot, the company forcing people to pay money to access one of the most basic features of the platform — tweeting, replying to tweets, liking and bookmarking tweets and creating lists — marked a major change for Twitter, which has been free since it became available for people in 2006, the news source added.
After the announcement was made, Musk clarified that people can “read for free, but $1/year to write.”
“It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users. This won’t stop bots completely, but it will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform,” he wrote.
Correct, read for free, but $1/year to write. It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users.
This won’t stop bots completely, but it will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 18, 2023
On Tuesday, the platform also published the “Not-a-Bot Terms and Conditions,” in which it outlined its plan for a paid subscription service that gives users certain abilities on their platform, like posting content and interacting with other users.