X, formerly known as Twitter, has begun charging some users for access to key features on the social media website.
In some markets, those who create a new X account will have to pay an annual $1 fee to tweet, reply, quote, repost, like, and bookmark.
The “Not a Bot” plan went into effect in New Zealand and the Philippines on Tuesday, X announced in a post on its website.
Those who don’t pay the fee will still be able to read posts, watch videos, and follow accounts, according to the company.
The fee will be waived if users sign up for a premium account, which costs $3.99 per year.
Owner Elon Musk has been considering the move for months.
“It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” he said during a talk last month with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel.
“This new test was developed to bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity,” X wrote.
“This will evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X, while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount.
“Within this test, existing users are not affected.”
Many commenters on X were unhappy with the decision.
“It won’t work. Many will leave twitter,” one said.
“If he does that, many users will leave, and advertising revenue will get even worse,” another added.
“Outtie 5000 I’m done. This month’s bad idea. At least he is consistent,” a different commenter said.
But not everyone saw the $1 price tag as a serious barrier to entry.
“Even I’ll pay that,” one X user said.
Musk, who also owns Tesla and SpaceX, bought the social media platform last October, sparking mass layoffs and resignations.
He has since made several controversial changes.
In April, Musk began dismantling the company’s blue check verification system for high-profile users.
People can now buy one of those checkmarks, which boost a user’s posts in the algorithm.
That same month, Musk was knocked for placing a “US state-affiliated media” label on NPR’s account.
In response, the outlet stopped using the platform.
Musk changed the company’s name from Twitter to X in July.
The new moniker was widely panned as confusing.
The U.S. Sun contacted X for comment on the latest change on Tuesday night.
“Busy now, please check back later,” the company replied.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/24437753/twitter-x-fee-charge-elon-musk-social-media/ Elon Musk’s X slammed over new ‘fee’ as users ‘forced to pay for series of basic features like tweeting and retweeting’