Paying for a bluetick started like a joke until users started paying to get verified on X (formerly called Twitter).
Verified or not, Elon Musk is now considering turning it into a monthly subscription-based service for everyone for “X” amount.
During a conversation focused on artificial intelligence with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk introduced the idea of charging all X users a monthly fee. He emphasized that this move is essential to combat the proliferation of bot accounts that have plagued the platform. Musk, however, did not provide a specific timeline for implementing this change or reveal the exact pricing structure, other than mentioning a nominal monthly cost of “a few dollars.”
As of now, X boasts a user base of 550 million monthly active users who collectively share between 100 to 200 million posts daily. This massive user base has been experiencing a drop in advertising revenue, which Musk has attributed to a 50% decrease since his acquisition of the company. This loss, combined with the burden of heavy debt, has left X in a negative cash flow position.
Elon Musk has previously contemplated the idea of putting Twitter behind a paywall in internal discussions. Under his leadership, X underwent a rebranding effort that led to the renaming of the subscription program from Twitter Blue to X Blue, with pricing starting at $8 per month. Subscribers to X Blue enjoy various benefits, including verified check-mark status, extended post editing capabilities, reduced ads, improved post rankings, increased character limits, and the ability to upload longer videos.
In a bid to revive the platform, Musk took control of X after closing a $44 billion deal and initiated significant restructuring, including mass layoffs that affected approximately 80% of the company’s workforce. Linda Yaccarino, formerly of NBCUniversal, was appointed CEO, and she has since made new hires within the sales department. However, Musk remains firmly in charge of X and has continued to oversee its product and technology teams, even renaming the company in July.
The potential transformation of X into a subscription-based service represents a significant shift in the social media landscape and could have wide-ranging implications for its users and the industry as a whole. Elon Musk’s vision for a bot-free, subscription-powered X reflects his ongoing commitment to reshaping the platform he now controls.
By Elijah Christopher