You must be willing to pay $1 per year to sign up for X, the service that was formerly known as Twitter, through its website if you live in New Zealand or the Philippines.
The subscription, which is a part of the “Not A Bot” campaign, is starting in those two nations and is intended to “bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity,” according to a Tuesday anonymous post on X’s help center. A phone number will also be required for account verification for new online users in New Zealand and the Philippines, according to the post. Fortune published the first report that Musk will charge new members $1 annually.
The new $1 subscription is only available to those who sign up via the web and not the mobile app, and X’s post doesn’t explain why “Not a Bot” is only being launched in two nations. One can speculate that these places have had more bot activity on X than any other, and that it is considerably simpler to set up several fake accounts on the website. According to the firm, “new users who opt out of subscribing will only be able to take’read only’ actions,” including perusing posts and watching videos.
Correct, read for free, but $1/year to write. It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 18, 2023
This won’t stop bots completely, but it will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform.
(Confusingly, the “Not A Bot” terms and conditions state users can subscribe from X’s iOS and Android apps as well, despite the fact that the primary post on X’s help center only specifies web.)
This new program is in addition to X’s $8 monthly core subscription. Though it’s thought that a very, very small fraction of users are paying, Musk has made it clear from the start of his Twitter takeover that he believes charging will hinder bot armies. He has been boasting that time spent on X has never been higher in the meantime.