In a new experiment with subscription, X, formerly Twitter, requires unverified accounts to pay $1 annually to be able to post & interact with other posts.
X platform has announced that it has started testing a new subscription-based program (Not A Bot) in New Zealand and the Philippines. Its aim is to distinguish verified users from bots and reduce spam and manipulation.
According to the company, “so far, subscription options have proven to be the main solution that works at scale” for tackling the issue of bias and disinformation spread via the X social media resource. The X support claims that a $1 annual subscription is not “a profit driver” and is aimed at discouraging the creation of bot accounts.
The new subscription service currently applies only to new users who want to register on the platform. The existing accounts are so far not affected.
New accounts created on X, in New Zealand and the Philippines, will be required to verify their phone number before using the service. Next, they’ll have the option to either accept or refuse the $1 subscription. Those who subscribe can post their own content, Like posts of other users, Reply, Repost and Quote other accounts’ posts, Bookmark posts, and otherwise interact with other people’s content. Those who opt out, on the other hand, can scroll the X media resource in a read-only mode. They can also follow other users’ accounts.
The X (ex-Twitter) community immediately reacted with a lot of criticism for the introduced measures. The main objections were that bot farms would not be appalled by the paid price, legitimising their fake accounts with a small fee. On the other hand, many real people may be discouraged by the price, even a small one, and would simply use other social media platforms instead.
Besides, social media creators and influencers worry that the move will decrease overall user interaction levels, prevent important information from spreading quickly, and diminish monetisation from ad placement.
Earlier this week, we reported that the Australian watchdog for Internet security has fined the social network X for its refusal to cooperate on countering child abuse and protecting children from exploitation.