Elon Musk says X will soon charge a small subscription fee for its services

Musk continues to surprise the world this week. The billionaire announced the full monetization of X on Monday.

In an interview focused on artificial intelligence with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the X owner announces the shocking transition of the famously controversial social media application X to soon charge small monthly payments from its users for the platform’s services.

According to the billionaire, this is an effective alternative to restricting bots on the platform. Bot creators will have to make new payments every time they create a new bot. This will make the effective cost of a bot very high and discourage the practice.

It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” explained Musk.

Because a bot costs a fraction of a penny — call it a tenth of a penny — but even if it has to pay…a few dollars or something, the effective cost of bots is very high,” he said.

He further explained bot eradication from X as the “single most important reason” for the implementation of the monthly Charging system. The current system that offers both free and paid services costs a fraction of a penny for bots to operate on the platform.

Musk has not yet announced the cost they have decided to charge or the date of implementation of the new monthly payment system. The billionaire remarks that it is a “small monthly payment”. He also shared X’s current figures to be 550 million monthly active users that create 100 to 200 million posts daily.

It wasn’t classified if the army of bots i.e., good bots like news feeds and bad bots like spammers had been taken into account in the report.

It also didn’t allow a direct comparison with the revenue pre-Musk Twitter. Twitter used its self-invented metric “average monetizable daily active user,” or mDAU for this purpose and calculated the users who could be monetized by viewing its ads. Twitter generated 229 million mDAU in 1Q of 2022 before Musk’s acquisition.

Noticeably the X employees have made changes to push more people into joining X Premium. The platform offers $8 a month and $84 a year in premium services to enhance the user experience i.e., editing posts, longer text, prioritized ranking in search and conversation, half the load, and more.

Musk has not disclosed information about the number of paid users on the platform, but independent reports show that the platform has failed to attract the majority of X users to opt for X premium. The current statistics show that only 827,615 users have subscribed to Premium.

This isn’t the first time Musk has shared his intention for full monetization of the platform. The rumors have floated since last year after a platformer reported Musk’s idea of putting Twitter behind a paywall.