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Twitter Introduces $1 Annual Fee for New Users in New Zealand and the Philippines to Combat Bots



X, formerly known as Twitter, is taking steps to tackle the issue of bots on its platform. To achieve this, the company has introduced a $1 annual fee for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines. This move is aimed at reducing spam and manipulative activities on the platform.

The subscription plan, first reported by Fortune, allows new users in these two countries to access key functions such as tweeting, replying, retweeting, and liking for just $1 a year. X officially announced the details on October 17th, 2023, stating that the new subscription method, called "Not A Bot," is part of their ongoing efforts to combat spam and bot activity.

New users in New Zealand and the Philippines will be required to verify their phone numbers and pay the $1 annual fee before they can post, like, reply, repost, quote posts, or bookmark content. Users who choose not to subscribe will have limited functionality, being able to perform "read-only" actions like reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.

The $1 fee amounts to approximately NZ$1.43 and 42.51 Philippine pesos, making it an accessible measure for most users. This new program is designed to protect the platform from bots and spammers who disrupt the experience of genuine users.

It's important to note that this fee is currently in its beta stage and requires users to agree to a recurring subscription payment. While Elon Musk, the owner of X, previously mentioned the possibility of charging all users, this plan is currently limited to new accounts. The rationale behind this move is to deter bot operators by increasing the cost of setting up accounts, making it less financially appealing.

With X's premium blue tick product, which costs $11 a month in the US for iPhones, £11 in the UK, and A$19, scammers have still managed to target users on the platform. As Musk explores alternative revenue streams beyond advertising, X is evolving into an "everything" app, including payment services. An advertiser boycott and concerns about the platform's handling of inappropriate content have led to a 60% decline in ad revenue since Musk's takeover.

The $1 annual fee for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines is a step toward creating a more secure and spam-free environment on the platform. X looks forward to sharing the results of this initiative as it continues to evolve.


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