Elon Musk, the owner of the X app, today discussed the idea that the social media platform, which was formerly known as Twitter, might not remain a free site. In a live stream with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk mentioned that the company was shifting towards a small monthly payment to further avail its services.
It mentioned that this change is necessary to handle the problem of bots within 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,” he further added. In addition to that, each time a bot creator wishes to make another bot, they will have to use a different payment method.
While Musk did not mention anything about the cost of the subscriptions, he did mention that it would be a smaller amount of money.
During the live stream, Musk also discussed the new X metrics, mentioning that the platform now has over 550 million monthly active users that help generate 100 to 200 million posts per day. However, it was not clear if Musk was counting on the automated accounts, which are either good bots, such as news feeds, or bad bots, such as spammers, among his given numbers.
The figure that Musk gave also did not allow for any direct comparison with Twitter’s user base before Musk took over, which was evaluated using a special metric that Twitter had invented known as the “average monetizable daily active user,” or the mDAU. This older metric specified the users of Twitter who were monetizable by viewing their ads. As per its last public earnings in Q1 of 2022, Twitter had a count of 226 million mDAUs.
The idea to charge users for X is necessarily not new for Musk. Last year, Platformer reported that Musk has been weighing on the idea of putting the whole of Twitter behind a paywall.
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