Elon Musk says Twitter, now X, will charge all users a 'small' monthly subscription fee

Twitter's new X branding spreads to its Play Store listing
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, will go behind a paywall, making all users pay a monthly subscription fee.
  • It's unclear when this will happen or how much users will have to pay.
  • Elon Musk announced this change during a live-stream on the platform.

Elon Musk has a history of making unpopular decisions regarding Twitter, now called X. Now, it looks like we have one more to add to the list, as Musk made a surprise revelation concerning the future of the social media platform. 

In a live-streamed conversation about AI with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the billionaire entrepreneur announced that he is postulating the idea that the social network formerly known as Twitter may soon no longer be a free platform. 

Musk said the company is moving toward “a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” suggesting the change is a necessary step to address the problematic prevalence of bots on the platform. 

“It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” Musk explained. “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.”

The disesteemed CEO’s rationale is that a bot creator would need to register a new payment method for every bot created, which could regulate the swarms of fake accounts being set up on the platform.

At this point, though, it’s unclear when the new subscription plans will roll out or how much exactly users would be charged to use the platform. Given Musk’s proclivity for jumping the gun, it’s also possible these plans don’t come to fruition at all. However, since Musk took over the platform last year, the company began pushing users towards X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue). 

During the Netanyahu chat, Musk shared the latest metrics for X, noting the platform currently has 550 million monthly users and sees 200 million posts daily. However, it’s likely that these numbers would decline if such a change was made. Users have already started to gravitate to other platforms, such as Mastodon, Blue Sky, and Threads, since Musk took over and rebranded. So, if and when the new subscription plans do see the light of day, it’s likely that even more users will jump ship.