In a new turn of events, Elon Musk, boss of X (formerly Twitter), has dropped a bombshell announcement: Plans are afoot at the social media platform to unveil not one, but two premium subscription tiers.
In a characteristically cryptic post on X, Musk announced: “One is lower cost with all features, but no reduction in ads, and the other is more expensive, but has no ads”.
But the intrigue doesn’t end there. Musk, has left the World Wide Web guessing, withholding any significant details at this time.
This is a twist of events that’s bound to leave social media users puzzled, X has also started charging new users in New Zealand and the Philippines for $1 to access the platform. It’s a move that’s got many tech watchers scratching their heads.
While X remains one of the most influential social media platforms in the world, the firm’s ongoing adjustments and innovations has upset a lot of people.
A new tier system
Per the new plan, the details of which are still sketchy, those who choose to forego the premium path under the proposed tier system will be limited to mere “read-only” activities — lurking around, reading posts, watching videos, and stalking accounts. The days of freewheeling X access could be numbered, but only time will tell.
As the dust settles, X’s 400 million active subscribers are left pondering: Will there be any free options? Elon Musk’s grand vision for vanquishing bots and counterfeit accounts from the platform has always revolved around charging a fee, and now the reckoning seems nigh.
Since his takeover just last year, Musk has been diligently crafting a subscription empire, now referred to as X Premium, with users forking out $8 a month for a coveted blue check subscription.
The platform’s “Not A Bot” subscription method, an audacious endeavour to thwart spam, manipulative content, and pesky bots, has been one of the many radical changes in his bid to make X great again.
But Musk’s unrelenting transformation of X, including massive layoffs and dismantling content moderation teams, has scared off advertisers. Ad revenue has taken a hit, and Musk is quick to point fingers at pesky activists for pressuring the ad exodus.
X saga unfolds
As users get ready to navigate the labyrinth of X’s subscription tiers, the saga continues to unfold. Interestingly other tech giants are also experimenting with a blend of ad-supported and subscription models, each with its own quirky twist. For the social media firms, it appears like a battle royale to strike the right balance between profit and user satisfaction.
Budget-friendly price point
While Alphabet’s YouTube boasts both paid and ad-supported versions, Netflix dabbles in ad-supported plans at a more budget-friendly price point. These platforms share the earnings with their content creators, but X is keeping mum on whether its unsung heroes will share the spoils of the ad-free subscriptions.
Despite Musk’s valiant efforts to cash in on X, the lingering spectre of lax content moderation continues to haunt the platform. Advertisers continue to remain cautious, fearful that their precious ads might be placed in compromising positions.
As the battle to clean up the platform rages on, and the world watches with bated breath. Recently the European Commission launched an investigation into X, probing the depths of its compliance with the new tech regulations governing illegal harmful content and the spread of fake news in the wake of Israel-Gaza conflict.