American billionaire and owner of the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Elon Musk, has hinted that the platform could charge users for connecting.
In a conversation with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Elon Musk said that X is moving towards charging users to reduce bot activities on the platform, BBC reported today. “We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system,” the Tesla founder said.
Musk has long been advocating for paid verification on social media platforms to counter bot activity and fake accounts on social media platforms. “A bot costs a fraction of a penny” to make, he said. “But if somebody even has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost to bots is very high.”
“This is a longer discussion, but in my view, this is actually the only defense against vast armies of bots,” Musk insisted.
The platform already offers a premium version called X Premium, which allows users to draft longer posts, and increase their visibility.
X Premium currently costs $8 a month in the US.
For the users who currently use the platform for free, the SpaceX owner said that his company is looking “to come up with a lower tier pricing. So we just want it to be just a small amount of money.” Since acquiring Twitter, Elon Musk has made a series of controversial decisions that drove the platform’s popularity down, with many international media organizations pulling out of the platform altogether.
Musk’s recent decision to change the platform’s name to X sparked online mockery, with many social media users pointing out the name’s association with adult websites.