During a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Elon Musk, owner of the social network X, hinted at the possibility of introducing a subscription model for the platform. Musk mentioned that this move could address the issue of bots on the platform.
He explained, “It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots… because a bot costs a fraction of a penny — call it a tenth of a penny — but even if it has to pay…a few dollars or something, the effective cost of bots is very high.” However, Musk didn’t specify the subscription cost, referring to it as a “small amount of money.”
Musk also revealed that X now boasts 550 million monthly users who generate 100 to 200 million posts daily. However, it remains unclear whether these figures include automated accounts, such as news feeds or spammers.
While Musk didn’t provide details about when this subscription model might be implemented, X has been promoting its paid subscription product, X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue), since Musk took over. This subscription service, priced at $8 per month or $84 per year, offers various features like post editing, reduced ad exposure, priority rankings in search and conversations, and longer post lengths.
The idea of a subscription-based X isn’t new, as Musk had previously considered putting the entire platform behind a paywall. Currently, the number of X Premium subscribers remains undisclosed.
The conversation between Musk and Netanyahu revolved around AI technology and its regulation, touching briefly on the topic of hate speech on X. Musk stated his opposition to antisemitism and anything promoting hate and conflict, despite recent controversies involving accusations of antisemitism against him and X.