According to a recent report, Elon Musk has suggested that all users of his social media platform, X, should be charged a small monthly fee. Musk believes that this is the only way to combat the rampant issue of automated accounts, or bots, which have been plaguing the site.
During a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk stated that implementing a payment system would deter large bot armies from operating on the platform. He argued that even a small fee would make running bots expensive and less attractive for those behind them.
However, this proposal has sparked dismay among X users who fear it could spell the end for the site. Many argue that adding payment details might discourage users from joining, regardless of how small the price may be. Simon Kemp, founder of online advice firm Kepios, expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of this move.
It’s worth noting that Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion but later admitted its value had plummeted due to his decision to downsize his workforce and allow right-wing conspiracy theorists back onto the platform. This resulted in advertisers fleeing from X and significantly impacting its advertising revenue.
While Musk claimed earlier this year that almost all advertisers had returned and 90 percent of bots had been removed, he later revealed in July that X had lost about half of its advertising revenue. The decline in revenue prompted questions about the logic behind introducing user charges since it could potentially make the platform even less attractive to advertisers.
Despite these concerns raised by both users and analysts, X has not provided any further details regarding their user charging plan.
During his conversation with Netanyahu, Musk also discussed anti-Semitism on social media platforms and how X could prevent bots from replicating and amplifying hate speech. It appears that combating these issues was one of the motivations behind considering user charges as a solution.
Unsurprisingly, news of Musk’s proposal generated thousands of critical messages and memes across various platforms. Users expressed their disappointment with this decision, with some even suggesting that the move would be detrimental to X and its advertising revenue.
James Cooper, director of the Business of Apps agency, highlighted the potential consequences of implementing a blanket paywall. He argued that charging users universally for the service could destroy the value of the network and discourage participation from both advertisers and users.
Additionally, media commentator Ed Zitron, a vocal critic of Musk, expressed his concerns on X. He stated that this decision could effectively kill the site and its advertising revenue in one fell swoop.
Experts also speculate that such a move could drive millions of users to alternative platforms like Meta’s Threads, which was launched by Mark Zuckerberg in July. Adam Blacker from Apptopia, a market intelligence firm, suggested that even a small fee could lead to several million new registrations on competing platforms.
Taking everything into account, Elon Musk’s proposal to charge all X users a monthly fee has sparked mixed reactions. While he believes it is necessary to combat bots and improve platform security, many users fear it will deter new sign-ups and harm advertising revenue. The debate surrounding this issue continues as X remains tight-lipped about their user charging plan.
It is widely mentioned that: source.