X (formerly Twitter) is testing a new $1 annual subscription plan called “Not a Bot. The test started on Tuesday in the Philippines and New Zealand, and the company says it is “not a profit driver” but a subscription plan rather aimed at reducing spambot activities.
“This new test was developed to bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity,” the company clarified in a help page. “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.”
New accounts created in New Zealand, or the Philippines must first go through a phone number verification. After verifying their phone number, they will have to subscribe to the new $1 ($1.43 NZD or ₱42.51 PHP) annual Not a Bot plan or choose from the already existing X Premium and Verified Organisations. Subscribers will be able to perform basic actions on the web, such as: posting content, liking posts, making replies, reposting, quotes and bookmarks. New accounts who do not subscribe to any plan will be restricted to “read-only” mode such as reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
In September, during a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk hinted that X was considering charging all users a “small monthly payment” to use the platform. “It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” he said.
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