In a strategic move aimed at combating spam and bot activity, X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has initiated a fresh approach. Users in New Zealand and the Philippines will now be required to pay an annual fee of $1 for certain key features, such as tweeting, replying, retweeting, and liking.
This shift marks a significant attempt by the platform, now under Elon Musk's ownership, to create a formidable defense against bots and spammers who often disrupt the experience of other users. The program has been labeled 'Not A Bot' and is part of X's ongoing efforts to curb manipulation and improve the overall user experience.
Starting from October 17, 2023, new users in New Zealand and the Philippines will need to verify their phone numbers and pay the annual $1 fee to access these interactive features. Those who opt out of subscribing can still browse and view posts, watch videos, and follow accounts. This move aims to put a slight financial hurdle in the path of bot creators, who can set up accounts at minimal cost.
The introduction of this annual charge is considered a beta program, and participants will commit to a recurring subscription payment. While Elon Musk had previously hinted at the possibility of charging all users, this initiative is currently exclusive to newcomers. The idea is to make the account creation process more challenging for bot operators, who would need to find new payment methods each time they create a new bot.