Elon Musk says X to launch premium subscription models

The company has not disclosed the subscription rates or timetable for the move

Elon Musk, X chief executive, has said introducing a fee to use the platform would deter people from creating fraudulent or automated accounts. AP
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Microblogging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is to launch two new subscription models, as billionaire owner Elon Musk seeks to tackle fake accounts and diversify revenue sources.

But the company did not disclose the subscription rates and timetable for the launch of the models.

“Two new tiers of X premium subscriptions launching soon. One is lower cost with all features, but no reduction in ads, and the other is more expensive, but has no ads,” Mr Musk wrote in a post on the platform on Friday.

X’s website and app are currently accessible to all users free of charge, with the option for some members to subscribe to the X Premium service at a cost of $8 a month.

The premium service provides users with benefits including prioritised post visibility and a verified blue check mark on their profiles.

Mr Musk said previously that introducing a fee for using the platform would deter people from creating fraudulent or automated accounts for disseminating misinformation, propaganda and scams.

The majority of social networks offer free access to users. In exchange, the platforms collect substantial amounts of user data, which they use for advertising purposes.

Mr Musk bought Twitter for about $44 billion in October 2022. He immediately announced several major changes to the platform and laid off thousands of staff.

It is not the first time he has floated the idea of putting the social network behind a paywall.

The Platformer technology website reported in November 2022 that he considered introducing paid subscriptions for using Twitter.

In September, Mr Musk said users may soon be required to pay a “small” fee for the platform. X is “moving to having a small, monthly payment for use of the X system", Mr Musk said during a live broadcast of a discussion with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Musk has been bringing in changes at X to boost revenue after the platform's advertising income dropped last year.

In April, the platform said it would take a 10 per cent cut on content subscriptions after the first year. Users are able to offer their followers subscriptions to content, including long-form text and hours-long video.

Updated: October 20, 2023, 6:00 PM