Now Elon Musk wants everyone to pay to use X

Is it too late to go back to Twitter?

Twitter X logo how to change app icon to blue bird
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Since taking over Twitter, it's fair to say that Elon Musk has left his mark on the platform. For a start, it's no longer called Twitter. X as it's now known, is a very different place now that it's owned by the world's richest person. But it looks like he might not be done yet.

Sharing your thoughts and food pics with the world might soon cost you, even without subscribing to X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue). In a recent livestream Musk said, "We're moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system,"

Of course, Musk talks a lot, so there's little exact information on how this will manifest, but it doesn't sound like it will be a lot, describing the cost as "some minor amount". Considering X Premium costs £6.50/$8 a month, it will probably be less than that.

The SpaceX and Tesla owner did elaborate on why a subscription model suits him, he is particularly keen to flush out and remove bots from the platform. Putting a price on having an account will deter bots who according to Musk currently operate at "a fraction of a penny". These bots are an irritant, check under a celebrity or prominent post and you'll likely see dozens or even hundreds of fake comments, spreading misinformation or trying to scam users.

Of course with the introduction of a paywall, X would risk haemorrhaging users and impact advertising revenues considerably. Those users would likely flock to other free-to-use platforms like Meta's latest, Threads, which now has a browser version and is being upgraded constantly.

If put behind a payment plan, even a low-cost one, X would become a more walled-garden style site. This would distinguish it from other platforms and is what many people want from the service but might also create an echo chamber effect where the only users willing to pay are all similar, limiting discussion.

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.