Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter (formerly known as X), is reportedly exploring an idea to address the issue of social media bots by charging users for access to the platform. This concept, which Musk had apparently discussed privately in the past, involves introducing a small monthly fee for using Twitter, excluding premium-level services. The rationale behind this move is to combat the proliferation of automated bots on the platform.

Musk’s proposal to charge users for Twitter access is not a new concept. He had previously suggested the idea shortly after assuming the role of CEO. The idea of placing Twitter behind a paywall was brought up in November 2022. Musk’s recent comments about introducing a subscription fee for Twitter come in the wake of the launch of Twitter Blue, a subscription service. However, Twitter Blue has encountered challenges, with a reported 100,000 active subscribers and questions about its value to regular users, particularly as the new version is 37.5 percent more expensive.

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Initially, Twitter employees had proposed charging business accounts for additional features, as many of them rely on Twitter to reach wider audiences. However, this idea was reportedly rejected in favor of offering widespread verification. Another concern is a last-minute addition by Musk to Twitter Blue, which involves reducing the number of ads in the Twitter app by half. It is estimated that this change could result in a loss of about $6 in advertising revenue per user per month in the United States. With the involvement of Apple and Google in the $8 monthly subscription, Twitter may potentially incur losses if the ad-lite plan is implemented.

The decision to explore a subscription-based model for Twitter comes after Musk revealed that Twitter (X) had suffered a 50 percent drop in advertising revenue. This led him to offer Twitter Blue at a price as low as 23 cents, likening it to the cost of a luxurious cup of tea.

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The idea of charging users for access to Twitter is presented as a means to deter bots from using the platform, as bots typically lack the financial means to pay for access. However, implementing such a model could have significant implications for Twitter’s user base and business model.