X Starts charging new users $1 a year in New Zealand, Philippines

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As part of a fresh experiment, Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, has begun charging new users in the Philippines and New Zealand $1 (£0.82) a year to access essential functions.

They consist of the following: liking, replying, retweeting, and tweeting.

The only things those who choose not to pay the monthly price can do are read posts, watch videos, and follow accounts.

“Reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity” is the stated goal, according to the social media network.

Although Mr. Musk has stated that it will still be free to create “read only” accounts, which lack essential functionality, new accounts will still need to authenticate their phone number.

The CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and X hinted last month that access to X might cost money for all users.

There has been a steady drop in Twitter’s revenue since Mr. Musk purchased the company for $44 billion last year.

Although the company has a clear financial incentive to charge consumers, the controversial billionaire claims that the goal of charging users is to combat bots.

He has remarked in the past that creating a bot just costs “a fraction of a penny”. “But if somebody even has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost to bots is very high”.

Members of an upgraded service known as X Premium now have to pay for extra services including longer posts and better visibility on the network.

In the US, X Premium presently costs $8 per month. While some users can still use X for free, the cost varies based on the country in which a member resides.

Placing X behind a paywall carries the risk of losing a sizable portion of the platform’s user base. This could therefore reduce advertising revenue, which currently makes up the great majority of the business’s earnings.

Following Hamas’s attack on Israel, the European Union has been looking into the company’s potential dissemination of violent and terrorist content as well as hate speech in recent weeks.

Australia’s Internet safety agency has also penalized it for not assisting with an investigation into anti-child abuse procedures.

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