X, formerly called Twitter, launched its “Not a Bot” beta on Tuesday, charging new accounts an annual fee of $1 for tweeting and retweeting. The first test applies to new accounts created in New Zealand and the Philippines to supposedly “fight bots and scammers on X,” the company said on its website Help Center page.
The Not a Bot test will not apply to existing accounts, X said, but those who create an account will receive a subscription prompt after signing up, asking them to pay the fee but also giving them the opportunity to opt-out to deregister. If a user is unwilling to pay for the subscription, they can only access “read-only” content, which allows them to read posts, watch videos, and follow accounts.
If they agree to pay for the subscription, new users can publish content, like and reply to posts, bookmark posts, and repost and quote posts from other accounts.
X says on its website that the “new program is aimed at fending off bots and spammers that attempt to manipulate the platform and disrupt the experience of other the web version of the platform, but it is not specified why this does not apply to the downloaded app.
Although X repeatedly states that subscribers pay a $1 fee, the Not a Bot test does not apply to US users and the company reiterated that local pricing applies. This means new users in the Philippines will be charged PHP 42.51 per year. Meanwhile, the fee for New Zealand users is only slightly higher than the advertised $1, costing new account holders $1.43 NZD per year.
“This new test is designed to strengthen our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity,” X said on its website. “This is evaluating a potentially impactful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X while balancing the platform’s accessibility with low fees.”
The fee is in addition to The existing premium subscription of X Option introduced in November 2022 Users are charged $8 per month for adding a blue checkmark to their accounts. It also includes select features like post editing, showing 50% fewer ads, and prioritized rankings that push accounts’ posts to the top of the feed.
Since taking over the company last year, Musk has proposed plans to charge all users to access the platform in the future. Last month, Musk said in a streamed live Discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he was from
The required $1 fee represents a major shift for X, which has been free to all users since its launch as Twitter in 2006. The newly added fee likely won’t deter all bots, which Musk acknowledges in the announcement, but could deter existing users Advertisers who have already started leaving the platform.
Advertisers expressed concern that Musk claimed in an post last month that the decreased revenue was “mainly due to pressure from ADL” – an anti-hate organization – on advertisers, “…so they almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter!”