Musk wants to charge for social network X. It’s the only way to get rid of fake accounts, says
Elon Musk plans to charge all users for access to social network X, formerly known as Twitter. He says it’s the only way to get rid of bots and fake accounts.
According to the BBC, the Twitter owner said this in an interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But it’s not clear whether this was just a side note from the billionaire or a signal that such a plan is in the works. “We are moving to paying small monthly fees to use the system,” the Tesla and SpaceX chief said.
Musk has been trying to incentivize users to pay for the expanded service, now called X Premium, since taking over Twitter last year. Paying users can enjoy more features, such as being able to write longer posts and being more visible on the network. However, access to basic features is free for all users.
As the BBC notes, it’s obvious that the company has a financial interest in charging for usage. Still, Musk insists he wants to introduce it for the sake of bots.
The X Premium service currently costs eight dollars (£183) a month in the United States. The price varies depending on which country the subscriber is in.
Musk also said he was looking for cheaper options for users. “We’re going to come up with a lower price. We want it to be a small amount,” Musk said. “It’s for a longer discussion, but in my opinion, it’s really the only defence against the huge armies of bots,” he added.
Critics say it’s possible that X could lose a large portion of its users with the introduction of a paid gateway. That could cut into the company’s advertising revenue, which currently makes up the vast majority of the company’s income.
Musk describes himself as a proponent of absolute freedom of speech, but some critics consider his approach irresponsible. There is research suggesting that the number of hate comments on Network X has increased since Musk took over, and some governments have blamed the network for not regulating its content sufficiently.
Musk is currently the richest man in the world. According to the billionaires index compiled by Bloomberg, the current value of his fortune is $243 billion.
Source, photo: us.today.com, pixabay.com
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