All X users, formerly Twitter users, will soon have to pay to use the platform, its owner Elon Musk said during a live-streamed event.
How much do you love X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter? Do you love it enough that you’d be willing to pay a “small monthly fee” to continue using it? That reality might be coming for future X users.
X owner Elon Musk recently took part in a live-streamed event with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Musk said he’s moving to require all users to pay a monthly fee, Axios reported.
During the conversation, Musk and Netanyahu talked about free speech and the problem of bot-powered hate speech.
“Free speech does, at times, mean that it’s somebody — someone you don’t like — is saying something you don’t like,” Musk said. “If you don’t have that, then it’s not it’s not free speech. Now, that doesn’t mean some sort of negativity should be pushed upon people.”
I’m glad he added that last part. But he acknowledged that unless content is interesting, entertaining, or engaging, X users will not want to use the platform.
“Our overarching goal for the X platform is to maximize unregretted user time,” Musk said.
What’s “unregretted” user time? Well, he wants people to not regret spending their time on X. I might suggest that some of the changes he has made has decreased “unregretted user time.” I know I’m not the only one of the many X users who would make that statement.
Small monthly fee in the works for X users
When Netanyahu raised concerns about “armies of bots” amplifying hate-speech, Musk dropped a bombshell, saying the problem of bots is a serious one.
“This is this is actually a super tough, tough problem. And it’s really, I’d say, the single most important reason that we’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X System. It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” he said.
He didn’t specify the size of the “small monthly payment.” But he said it would be a “lower tier” than X Premium users.
He reasoned a bot costs a “fraction of a penny” but said if someone has to pay “a few dollars,” that may dissuade those bot armies. He also suggested that each account would require a different payment card. That means if you have a personal account and run more than one business account, you’ll potentially need multiple credit cards to pay for X.
How much is X worth to you?
I don’t currently subscribe to X Premium, formerly known as Twitter Blue. The only real advantage I ever saw to paying was the ability to edit a post — which should be free after all this time. The back-and-forth with the verification badges served as a major turn-off for me. By removing the legacy verification, then making it only available if you paid, he removed any value the blue checkmarks had.
I’ve read reviews claiming the “priority” X Premium subscribers’ posts have isn’t as big as the platform claimed. But since I haven’t tried it, I can’t verify that.
But in the past several months, the changes haven’t made for a better experience. I have seen more hate-speech and I’ve seen more exaggerations and political grandstanding. That’s the last thing we need.
I have to wonder how much X users would agree to pay just to have a seat at the table…especially as their posts seem to get noticed by fewer and fewer people. (Presumably compared with X Premium subscribers.)
I would have a hard time convincing myself to pay up, even if it’s only $2 or $3 per month. I’ve seen a drop off in engagement on X. So to suddenly be expected to pay for a service that already has a dwindling return seems like a tough pill to swallow.
At least at this point.