X starts charging new users annual fee to use basic features; Know all about it

Ever since Elon Musk took over X (formerly Twitter), it has undergone a myriad of changes. In a bid to make it a super app that can compete with China’s WeChat, the microblogging platform has received several new features, alongside a complete rebranding that resulted in Larry the Bird being replaced by an X. However, not all users are happy with the multitude of changes being introduced on the platform, with several of them calling these moves draconian. Just recently, it was announced that X would bring a 3-tier subscription model to its X Premium.

Now, a new report has added fuel to the fire by revealing that X could charge users for basic features, and has already started testing the same in 2 countries. Let’s take a look.

X to charge users?

According to a report by Fortune (via 9to5Mac), the microblogging platform will charge users $1 a year just to use its basic functionalities. These will reportedly include new posts, likes, reposts, quotes, bookmarks, lists and even replies to other users. Even though X is ad-based, it has been losing a lot of revenue due to the war, Elon Musk recently revealed. Replying to a user’s post about X’s payout decreasing, Musk revealed that the revenue “drops massively during war”.

The official X Support page revealed that it is testing a new ‘Not a Bot’ program in New Zealand and the Philippines that would require new and unverified accounts to pay a $1 annual fee to “be able to post & interact with other posts.” This change will not affect existing users.

This move to a completely subscription-based model could be an indicator of revenues dropping, and the platform trying to recoup that via subscriptions. It was also reported that many advertisers had left X due to Musk’s policies, although CEO Linda Yaccarino, during Code 2023 earlier this month, revealed that 90 percent of all the top 100 advertisers have now returned to X, with 1500 returning in the last 12 weeks. However, the report claims that revenue generation is not a driver behind this feature.

The post stated, “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.”

Musk, in a livestream last month, claimed that charging users to use X was the “only way” to make the platform bot-free. However, the removal of these features could mean that X is basically blocked behind a paywall, where users need to subscribe to do anything except view posts.

X Premium tiers

X user Aaron, who goes by @aaronp613 on the platform, recently claimed that the X Premium subscription would be broken up into 3 tiers. The ‘Premium Basic’ tier would offer all the functionalities with ads, while the ‘Premium Standard’ would lessen the number of ads. The top-tier subscription, ‘Premium Plus’, would offer all of the features with no ads. However, the expected timeline or the pricing of these subscription tiers is yet to be revealed.

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