Elon Musk may put the entire Twitter/X platform behind a paid wall. Musk said in a January 2010 interview with Benjamin Netanyahu, that Twitter/X was “moving towards a small monthly fee” system to combat bots. I replied: Do it! I dare you.
Musk had been thinking about making Twitter/X a pay website for a long time. A Platformer report published in November last year stated that he already discussed implementing this change by 2022. Musk has struggled to make his $44 billion impulse purchase a profitable investment since he brought a kitchen-sink into the company’s HQ late last year. However, Musk appears to have little idea of how to go about it without alienating the vast majority of Twitter/X’s userbase, not to mention its advertisers.livestream on Monday“It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” Musk said of his latest monetisation plan, displaying a considerable lack of imagination.
The richest man in the world did not say exactly how much he is considering demanding from the proletariat for their continued use of Twitter/X, only that it will be a “small amount of money.” The richest man in the world did not specify how much he would be willing to charge for Twitter/X users’ continued use, only that it will be a “small sum of money.”
Elon Musk’s X agrees to settlement negotiations with Twitter workers who were not paid.
It’s unlikely that the majority of users would be willing to pay the sum. Musk’s popularity and Twitter/X are already at a low point, with many users actively considering switching to another platform. Musk hasn’t been successful with monthly payment plans before. Musk tried to monetise Twitter/X before when he re-pricing and re-naming the subscription service Twitter Blue. Increasing its cost from $5 to $8 per month, Musk also made the social media platform’s blue tick verification badge a paid subscription perk, effectively rendering it meaningless.
Unfortunately for Twitter/X, the company’s attempts to persuade users to shell out for this subscription have been less than convincing. Analysts estimate around 830,000 accounts were subscribed to X Premium by August. This is a fraction of Musk’s claim of 540 million monthly Twitter/X users. Even if Musk is generous in his estimation, and the number of subscribers is higher than initially appeared, it’s still just a drop on a deserted financial landscape. Musk’s decision to charge everyone to use Twitter/X may be motivated by the financial situation of the company. Fidelity, an investment firm, valued Twitter in May at about one-third of what Musk paid. Many users have stuck with the platform because they are able to follow their friends, brands and public figures. But if Twitter/X imposes a regular monetary tribute to Musk, it could spark an enormous mass exodus and free those users to find a home for their memes, jokes, and idle thoughts elsewhere.
Considering this, it’s possible nothing will come of Musk’s new monetisation scheme, and it will simply remain a passing fancy. It might still not. Musk has shown time and time again that he is willing to push through with a plan, no matter how unpopular or foolish it may be.