Elon Musk’s Strategy to Monetize Posting for New X Users

Elon Musk is planning to charge new X users a small fee to enable posting on the social network and to curb the bot problem. Earlier this month, X said that the platform was starting a major purge of spam accounts, warning users that their follower count might be affected. However, with a plan to charge new users, the social media company seemingly aims to tackle the bot problem better. Earlier this month, xAI made its Grok chatbot available to Premium users of X, who pay $8 per month. Last week, Fortune reported that X plans to make Grok available to users to compose posts.

According to recent reports, tech mogul Elon Musk has announced plans to tackle the bot problem on his social media platform, X, by charging a small fee to new users. In response to a tweet about changes on X’s website, Musk stated that this was the “only way” to combat the “relentless onslaught of bots.” This decision is a response to the growing presence of AI and troll farms, who have proven to easily bypass tools like CAPTCHA.

“Unfortunately, a small fee for new user write access is the only way to curb the relentless onslaught of bots. Current AI (and troll farms) can pass “are you a bot” with ease.” – Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2024

Musk later elaborated in a reply to another user that this fee would only apply to new accounts and would be waived after three months.

“That is way harder than paying a tiny fee. This is only for new users. They will be able to do write actions for free after 3 months.” – Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2024

While many details of this new policy have yet to be revealed, it appears to be a similar approach to X’s previous implementation of a $1 per year fee for new unverified users in New Zealand and the Philippines. These users were able to view posts, but had to pay a fee to interact with them. It is speculated that Musk may apply a similar fee structure to other regions.

X has also recently announced a major purge of spam accounts, warning users that their follower count may be affected. This new plan to charge new users may be another effort to better combat the bot problem on the social media platform.

“Today, we’re kicking off a significant, proactive initiative to eliminate accounts that violate our Rules against platform manipulation and spam. While we aim for accuracy in the accounts we remove, we’re casting a wide net to ensure X remains secure and free of bots. As a…” – Safety (@Safety) April 4, 2024

This focus on AI bots is not new for Musk, as X’s updated policies last year included a clause stating that public posts could be used to train machine learning algorithms or artificial intelligence models. In addition, Musk’s AI company xAI announced plans to use public posts to train models in July 2023.

Recently, xAI has made its Grok chatbot available to X users who pay for the Premium or Premium+ tiers. This move has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions about the company’s intentions, especially as Fortune reported that X plans to make the chatbot available to users for composing posts.

With this new implementation of charging new users a fee, it remains to be seen how it will truly impact the bot problem on X. However, it is clear that the company is actively taking steps to address this issue and ensure the platform remains bot-free. Only time will tell how effective these measures will be in the fight against AI bots on X.

Avatar photo
Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

Articles: 806

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *