X, the app formerly known as Twitter, will make users pay to use the service. But would you actually pay for X?
New users in two countries will have to pay for X if they want to join the service at all. Unlike Twitter Blue, which is now X Pro, which allows subscribers to pay for additional services, this new yearly fee is just to join the service at all.
The company announced it is testing what it dubbed a “Not a Bot” annual subscription. The fee is $1 per year. Yes, just a buck. And, so far, the test is only rolling out in New Zealand and the Philippines. Presumably, if it works well, X will expand the program elsewhere.
I fully expect it will expand elsewhere.
X owner Elon Musk said previously he believes requiring users to enter a credit card number for a modest fee will eliminate spambots. Under his idea, each account would have to have a different credit card number. That might limit “armies” of spambots.
To me, expecting people to pay for X immediately prompts two questions.
First, Would you give X a credit card number?
Are you willing to hand over a credit card number to a platform that seems to be bending over backward to be so customer-unfriendly? I’ve discussed some of the changes the platform made since Musk took over. It feels as if he’s trying to kill the platform.
The service fired a massive segment of its workers. Musk called it a cost-cutting measure. I get that.
But the problem is the service was already painfully slow in solving problems. I know from first-hand experience that before the firings, it took more than two months to restore an account that had been hacked at the day job. The user behind that account found herself locked out. After going back and forth with them, they finally restored things.
I can’t even imagine how long of a delay there’d be now with fewer employees.
That leads me to wonder what would happen if there were a problem with the credit card. How long would that take to work out?
When a business shows me customer service isn’t a priority, I’m not that eager to hand over my personal information. (At least, I’m not eager to hand over any additional information that I haven’t already given them.)
Second, how much should one really pay for X?
What’s the platform actually worth to you? That’s the bigger of the two questions. But you have to decide whether you’re willing to hand over your credit card number before you’re willing to weigh the cost.
Yes, the cost is about as minimal as you can get. It’s small enough to be more of an inconvenience.
One might well ask, How can anyone think a service like X wouldn’t be worth $1 a year? On the one hand, it’s not a bad question; yes, it’s such a ridiculously low amount, it’s not going to break anyone.
But I might ask, Are you happy enough with the changes the service made to reward them by paying anything? I don’t think that’s an unreasonable question, either.
Next month, I will have been on X for 15 years. Over the past year or so, I’ve joined multiple “alternative” services like Mastodon, Threads, Post News, and even BlueSky. Lately, since changes have come to X, I can get more interactions on those smaller services (combined) than I do on Twitter by itself. In some cases, I can get more interactions on any one of the small services than I do on Twitter.
No, I don’t subscribe to X Pro. I don’t see that as worth the money. But X hasn’t shown me that it’s worth even $1 a year based on the lower reach and less interaction I get these days.
If I’m required to actually pay for X and I have to have this much thought about whether even an amount as low as one buck is worth it, I probably already know the answer.
I tend to be brand-loyal, far more so than most. But poor service is poor service. I won’t stay loyal forever.
For $1 per year, what’s in it for me? And “more of the same” is not a valid option.