X owner Elon Musk today floated the idea that the social network formerly known as Twitter may no longer be a free site. In live-streaming conversation Along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Musk said that Company X is “moving to smaller monthly payments” for use of the system. He suggested that such a change was necessary to tackle the problem of bots on the platform.
“Iof t The only way i can do thought of to do battle huge army of Sangkame,” explained Musk. “because a bot expenses a Fractions of a Penny – Call a Part Ten of a Penny – bout exactly So That is to do pay…a some Dollars Or something, the Effective expenses of Sangkame is a lot high,” he said. Plus, every time a bot creator wants to make another bot, they’ll need another new payment method.
Musk did not say how much the new subscription payments would cost, but described it as a “small amount.”
During the conversation, Musk also shared new metrics for X, the site now has 550 million monthly users, generating 100 to 200 million posts per day. However, it wasn’t clear whether Musk was counting automated accounts — that is, either good bots like news feeds or bad bots like spammers — in those numbers.
The figure did not allow for a direct comparison to Twitter’s user base pre-Musk, which was calculated by Twitter using a specific metric called “average monetizable daily active user,” or mDAU. This old metric indicated users on Twitter whose ads could be monetized. Twitter had 229 million mDAUs during its last public earnings call in Q1 2022.
Musk did not elaborate on his plans to charge for the X or when such a change would occur. But since Musk took over the platform last year, the company has been pushing its users to subscribe to its paid subscription product, X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue). This $8 per month or $84 per year subscription service offers a variety of features such as the ability to edit posts, half the ad load, prioritized ranking in search and conversations, the ability to write long posts, and more.
X doesn’t disclose how many paid subscribers it has, but independent research suggests that X Premium hasn’t attracted the majority of X users. One analysis determined that only 827,615 users are currently members of X Premium, for example.
The idea of charging everyone for X is not new to Musk. Platformer reported last year that Musk was weighing the idea of putting all of Twitter behind a paywall.
Much of the conversation between Musk and Netanyahu today focused on AI technology and its regulation, although the topic of hate speech on X came up. Here, Musk claimed that he was “against anti-Semitism” and “anything that promotes hatred and conflict”. Of course, Musk’s latest feud has him threatening to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League, which has accused both Musk and X of being anti-Semitic.