On Tuesday, social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, began testing a new subscription model, charging new users in New Zealand and the Philippines a one-time annual price of $1 for the most basic functions.
The "Not a Bot" subscription plan is an attempt to address the issue of bots on the site, with the company saying it hopes "to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity."
Musk may be pitching a $1 subscription as a mechanism against unruly bot activity, but it may, in fact, be fuel to kickstart his "everything" platform goals that will include e-commerce and micropayments. Equally as important, the fee is unlikely to actually put a dent in X's bot problem but could isolate many users who don't have access to a bank account.
While the $1 fee alone may not be enough to bring an end to X's disruptive bots, it's a good start. With the rapid advancement of AI, new and improved methods will be needed to target the scams, and this subscription fee is just one of many ideas that, in tandem, may very well offer a solution.
There's a 50% chance that the market capitalization of X will be at least $31.4B on Jan. 1, 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.