Fans of Twitter (now called X) have something new to consider: whether the social media app is worth the subscription fee.
Musk announced the change in a livestream conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He suggested that he could start charging everyone for access to X. That report by The Guardian quoted Musk as saying: “We’re moving towards making a small monthly payment for use of the system.”
According to CNBC, Musk says there are too many bots, and by charging a small amount per month for access, the service can eliminate what he calls “a huge army of bots” that have invaded the service over the past several years. .
Let’s peel back the layers here a bit. For starters, it looks like Musk is taking up the fight against bots that can create accounts, post like a real human being, and troll other users. Bot armies are widespread and are commonly hijacking websites and social media platforms as a way to steal your personal information or defraud you in other ways. Bots are becoming widespread because they can be programmed to act like humans and defeat many of the defenses tech companies have created to protect them.
However, the solution to the problem does not really make sense.
This is what Musk is suggesting user himself Pay for the privilege of using a service that is not infected with bot accounts, rather than having to figure out how to get rid of bots. (Bot armies are massive, but they don’t like paying membership fees.) More seriously, he’s suggesting that it’s worth paying for X in the first place.
I can think of a few examples of how this business model has worked with other services. One that comes to mind involves secure email. For example, sometimes it makes sense to pay for email using an app like Ziver. Maybe you’re sending legal contracts to customers or transmitting financial information. That service costs $7.20 per month.
X (meaning, Twitter) has used a well-known business model by now. We agree to see ads and sponsored content because we don’t really pay attention to ads in the first place. Charging for a service that’s barely useful highlights a misunderstanding of why we use apps in the first place. Trust me, this is not for sending legal documents to clients.
However, this is where things get interesting.
Musk wants us to pay for He hasn’t made it yet. They bought Twitter without thinking, and then probably realized they also bought millions of user accounts that could be magically moved to another app without even asking if anyone wanted them to do so.
What can be useful? Musk should make X first, then ask us to start paying. For now, we have to decide whether the app as it stands is worth the money.