Billionaire Elon Musk has indicated that X, formerly known as Twitter, is preparing to charge all users for access to the platform.
According to an article from the UK’s Guardian, Musk said erecting a paywall around the business would ward off the bots, or automated accounts.
Speaking in a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, the Tesla CEO and world’s richest person suggested that X was going to start charging its user base. Currently, Twitter only charges users for X Premium, which offers a verified account checkmark and costs US $11 a month and £11 in the UK.
“We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system,” Musk said.
Saying that bots cost “a fraction of a penny” to set up, Musk added that raising the cost of an account to “a few dollars or something” could put off operators of the software. He added: “Plus, every time a bot creator wanted to make another bot, they would need another new payment method.”
Musk also said X had 550 million monthly users generating up to 200m posts a day.
According to the Guardian report, Musk has raised the prospect of a paywall as the platform battles an entrenched decline in advertising, its main source of income.
Musk has said an advertiser boycott, spurred by concerns over his leadership of the platform and its management of inappropriate or hateful content, has caused ad revenue to decline by 60 per cent.