Tech mogul Elon Musk is planning to introduce monthly subscription fees for all Twitter/X users as an effort to offset the substantial financial losses incurred by the platform. Twitter/X has been grappling with a severe decline in ad revenue since a significant number of advertisers abandoned the platform in the previous year. Musk’s move to implement a monthly subscription fee aims to generate alternative revenue streams and secure the platform’s financial stability.
While the exact subscription fee hasn’t been disclosed, Musk emphasized that it would be lower than the $11 fee charged for X Premium verification. During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk indicated that the subscription fee would amount to “a few dollars or something” each month.
One of the primary motivations behind this decision is to combat the proliferation of bots on the platform, which can be set up at a minimal cost. Under this new plan, bot creators will be required to pay a subscription fee for each of their bot accounts. This means that they will need to utilize a different payment method for each bot they create, effectively increasing the cost of running bots on the platform.
Twitter, initially launched in March 2006 by co-founder Jack Dorsey, was acquired by Elon Musk’s Twitter, Inc. for a whopping $43 billion in April 2022. Musk’s acquisition was driven by the platform’s significant financial losses, with approximately 50% of its advertisers having deserted the platform.
To revitalize the platform’s profitability, Musk introduced Twitter Blue, a subscription service priced at $8 per month. This service came with a host of new features, including the coveted “blue checkmark” verification that was previously exclusive to celebrities, professional athletes, lawmakers, and other prominent figures.
Elon Musk has previously stated that Twitter boasts over 550 million users who collectively generate more than 200 million posts daily. By charging a monthly subscription fee to all 550 million users, Musk aims to recoup his substantial investment. However, this move could potentially trigger a mass exodus of users, a risk that Musk’s team will need to carefully consider.
As Musk has a history of announcing and retracting new features for Twitter/X, it remains to be seen how this subscription fee plan will unfold and whether it will indeed be implemented as described. Elon Musk’s office has not responded to requests for comment from The Guardian UK at the time of this report.
Derek Chan – Editor