Elon Musk says his social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, could be introducing a paywall for all users.
“The single most important reason that we are moving to having a small monthly payment for the use of the X system, is it is the only way I could think of to combat vast armies of bots,” Musk said during a live stream on X with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.
Musk told Netanyahu that having a payment system and prioritizing premium users’ posts would help minimize the influence of bots.
“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, some minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high,” Musk said.
Musk said he believes the paywall is critical if X is to deal with bots on the platform.
“We are actually going to come up with a lower tier pricing. We want it to be just a small amount of money,” Musk said. “It’s a longer discussion but this is actually the only defense against armies of bots.”
This isn’t the first time the billionaire has considered having a paywall for all X users.
Musk had discussed the idea with one of his advisers, venture capitalist David Sacks, last year, according to a report from the tech newsletter Platformer.
Besides renaming Twitter to X, Musk replaced the platform’s legacy verified program — the blue ticks that verify the authenticity of famous personalities — with the Twitter Blue subscription program in March.
The changes are part of Musk’s attempts to put the platform on a path toward profitability. In July, the billionaire said in an X post that the company was in a difficult financial position.
“We’re still negative cash flow, due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load,” Musk said in his July post. “Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else.”
Representatives for X did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.
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