Following his commitment to completely change X, earlier known as Twitter, Tesla chief and multi-billionaire Elon Musk has said the company could soon go behind a paywall and charge a tiny amount from people using the platform.
The billionaire, at an AI roundtable with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, says making users pay for access to the platform is the only way to tackle the issue of bots, which has been a critical problem for the platform since the pre-Musk era.
"We're moving to have a small monthly payment for use of the system," Musk tells the Israeli Prime Minister, adding that it could make "effective cost" to deploy bots on the platform "very high". "It's the only way I can think of to combat the vast army of bots."
However, it's not yet clear whether the company is going to implement the decision soon, or if it's part of a long-term plan. Also, there isn't any clarity on the exact fee to be charged as X has not officially come out with a statement yet.
So far, X is a free platform for generic users, while X's Premium version incentivises users to post content, and facilitates by allowing long-form posts with higher reach among the target audience.
As per Musk, X's user base has increased to 550 million from 528 million earlier, with over 100-200 million posts every day. He did not reveal the exact number of bot accounts on the platform.
Musk and X CEO Linda Yaccarino have been working on changing Twitter's core identity since her joining in April 2023 as the billionaire says he'll transform the platform into an “everything app”.
Last month, Musk said X would allow video and audio calls on the platform, without anyone having a phone number. The newly announced feature will work on all kinds of devices, including iOS, Android, Mac & PC.
In July 2023, Twitter shed the company's 'Twitter bird' identity and did away with the logo. From X's 'blue', 'gold', and 'silver' ticks to opposing censorship and reinstating some high-profile accounts to laying off over half of the company, Musk has consistently changed X while ensuring its daily user number continues to grow.
The recent big changes added to X include a double tap to fast forward or backward in the video; rate limits to fight scams; improved TweetDeck; securing of first money transmitter license in Michigan; launching of new account analytics; job listing features; airplay button for videos; community spotlight module; video downloads; community notes expansion; and sharing of ad revenue with eligible creators globally.
After its $44-billion buyout last year in October 2022, Musk merged Twitter with the newly-formed X Corp, making it clear that getting an 'X' identity was part of his earliest plans.