Elon Musk's Latest Twist: Introducing an Annual Posting Fee on Twitter

Elon Musk's new user fee sparks widespread debate

by Zain ul Abedin
Elon Musk's Latest Twist: Introducing an Annual Posting Fee on Twitter
© Maja Hitij/Getty Images

In a controversial move aimed at revitalizing X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, Elon Musk has unveiled a plan to charge new users a fee for access to basic posting capabilities. This proposed strategy, which has yet to receive an official implementation date, was first highlighted by the X Updates Radar account.

The newly added website text specifies that new accounts must pay a "small annual fee" to engage with the platform's core features, such as posting, liking, bookmarking, and replying, essentially limiting interaction to viewing unless paid for.

Musk confirmed the update, which sparked considerable speculation online. In a response that aimed to justify the change, Musk pointed out the inefficacy of traditional anti-bot measures. "Unfortunately, a small fee for new user write access is the only way to curb the relentless onslaught of bots," Musk explained, emphasizing the difficulty in distinguishing automated bots from genuine users through conventional tests.

Monetization and Controversy

This plan marks a radical departure from the historically free access to social media platforms, stirring up controversy and backlash even among Musk's staunchest supporters. In an attempt to quell dissent, Musk later added that new users could gain free posting privileges after three months, suggesting a temporary fee that contradicts the initial "annual" fee description.

This discrepancy has led to confusion and speculation about the consistency and long-term vision of Musk's strategy. The concept of monetizing X isn't new to Musk. As early as October, trials were conducted in the Philippines and New Zealand, where new users paid a $1 monthly fee to access main features.

Moreover, in a more notorious move in November 2022, Musk transformed the platform's verification system. What was once a free service confirming a user’s identity became a paid privilege under Twitter Blue, now X Premium, charging $8 monthly and allowing any paying user to display a verification checkmark. This led to an immediate surge in impersonation and misinformation problems.

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