X, formerly Twitter, has announced a new policy that requires new and unverified accounts to pay the sum of $1 sign-up fee as an annual subscription.
The company announced this on Wednesday, saying without this, they won’t be able to post and interact with other posts.
According to X, the program is currently being tested in New Zealand and the Philippines in preparation for its global rollout.
This, however, is not going to affect unverified existing users on the platform.
X noted that new users who opt out of subscribing at the signup stage will only be able to take “read-only” actions, such as reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
“This new test was developed to bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. It is not a profit driver. And so far, subscription options have proven to be the main solution that works at scale.
“This will evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. Within this test, existing users are not affected,” the company stated.
Elon Musk, chairman of X, disclosed the reason for the annual subscription fee in a post on Wednesday,
He said the charge would reduce spam and automated bot accounts.
“Correct, read for free, but $1/year to write. It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users.
“This won’t stop bots completely, but it will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform.”