X, formerly known as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), is now introducing a US$1 annual charge for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines as part of plans to boost revenues.
This is coming after a steep decline in following since Elon Musk’s purchases of the app for US$44 billion.
Sneaking the payment in under the guise of helping “combat bots and spammers on X”, the subscription, called ‘Not A Bot’, requires new users to verify their identities with a phone number before paying the annual fee or opting for a premium account. Will it in time spill to other countries? Sure.
According to X, those who do not subscribe to the scheme will only be able to use the social media app to complete ‘read-only’ tasks like viewing posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
The scheme is starting from October 17th, 2023.
Further, X hopes the fee will wade off bot operators, as the cost of setting up multiple accounts is now a strong deterrent.