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X tests $1 per year subscription plan | TIME


X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, began to test subscription fees of $ 1 per year for new web accounts wishing to publish or interact with other users, saying that this measure has the potential to reduce spam, automated bot accounts and manipulation of its service.

The test, called “Not a Bot,” has been rolled out in New Zealand and the Philippines, X said in a statement. blog post Tuesday. New users who do not pay the fee will not be able to perform certain actions on the site, including writing messages, liking, replying, or adding favorites.

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“This will evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X, while balancing the accessibility of the platform with the small amount of fees,” according to the blog. “As part of this test, existing users are not affected.”

The San Francisco-based company has been looking for new revenue streams since billionaire Elon Musk’s chaotic takeover last year, which saddled it with $13 billion in debt and scared away advertisers worried about a relaxation of content security rules. X owes about $1.2 billion a year in interest on its acquisition-related debt, Bloomberg estimated earlier.

To jumpstart growth, X plans to test three tiers of its premium service and will launch additional features that could drive revenue such as shopping and payments, Chief Executive Officer Linda Yaccarino told bankers earlier this month. X’s premium plan, which currently costs $7.99 per month, would be divided into tiers that would allow the company to charge customers different amounts based on the number of ads served.

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New X users in both test markets will need to subscribe to either the “Not a Bot” program or an X Premium tier, known for giving paying customers blue checkmarks, in order to write and interact with posts .

“Read for free, but $1/year to write,” Musk posted on X after the announcement. “This is the only way to fight bots without blocking real users.”


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