X, Twitter rebranded: you won’t believe the new $1 fee for posting!
Undergoing a significant transformation, X, the rebranded Twitter, has introduced a pivotal change. Unverified accounts seeking to post or share content are now required to pay an annual fee of one dollar. This innovative measure is presently being tested in New Zealand and the Philippines, with a primary goal of curbing spam and countering the proliferation of automated bots. This strategic shift marks a substantial alteration in how the platform approaches user engagement and content sharing.
Trial expansion and user requirements
Although existing users in the mentioned countries remain unaffected, there looms the possibility of this trial phase expanding worldwide or applying to all new users. X’s revamped system necessitates user verification via a phone number and a subscription choice: one dollar annually, X Premium at eight dollars per month, or Verified Organization status validation. Non-paying users will have restricted capabilities, confined to reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts. This evolving approach marks a potential shift in how the platform manages user access and monetization.
X Twitter: the consequences for opting out
The decision to opt out of the subscription fee effectively relegates users to a read-only role, allowing them only to read posts, watch videos, and follow accounts. Should this policy be expanded to more countries and existing users, there’s a considerable risk of severely affecting X’s revenue. The platform’s historical revenue model centered on advertising. The introduction of even a modest fee may dissuade users from active participation. This could potentially lead to a decline in user engagement and the platform’s overall financial health.
The challenge of battling bots
The prevalence of verified bot accounts on X/Twitter is a growing concern. There’s an issue with individuals being willing to pay a mere one-dollar annual fee to create deceptive accounts for fraudulent activities.
Musk has long championed the fight against bots, but the recent shift towards subscription-based verification raises questions about its effectiveness. Additionally, there is concern about the potential for inadvertently promoting bot activity.
This challenge highlights the necessity for a more sophisticated approach to balance user verification and deterrence of automated or deceitful accounts.
The subscribers’ exodus
A year after the $44 billion Twitter acquisition, SimilarWeb’s report on the platform’s performance is telling.
In September 2023, traffic on twitter.com/elonmusk/ is the sole bright spot. The platform’s overall traffic has declined by 14% compared to September 2022, and ads.twitter.com traffic is down by 16.5%.
Mobile traffic in the USA has decreased by 17.8%. And the year-to-year traffic comparison for 2023 vs. 2022 shows a decline of 11.6% in the USA and 7% worldwide. In contrast, Musk’s profile traffic in September 2023 has surged by 96%.