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X tests new subscription model


Starting Oct. 17, X (formerly Twitter) began implementing “Not a bot,” a one-dollar-per-year subscription method for new users to be able to post content, like content, reply, repost, and bookmark. It is currently being tested in the Philippines and New Zealand, with plans to expand the program.

The purpose of this subscription method, described by X, is to “bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity”—and it is not for profit. 

To clarify, the test will not affect existing users in the Philippines and New Zealand, and new users can still opt to sign up without subscribing. Instead, they would only be able to view posts and follow creators. New users can still subscribe to X Premium and X Verified Organization plans to unlock access to the other features. 

“I think X’s new test is smart, if it works as intended,” Chong Min (11), member of Coding Club, said. “X can somewhat block the extremists who make new accounts to spread their ideals. For the average user, since they don’t really post on X, it will barely affect their experience, while X continues to get ad revenue from them. In any case, the new subscription model can only benefit X.”

X’s motive for blocking bots is not an unfounded problem. Research by the Queensland University of Technology shows conspiracy theories by automated accounts do attract great attention, attracting nearly three million views during the 2020 presidential election.

Some believe that the new program, if expanded worldwide, will stop the influx of bots to a certain extent. However, others see this as another predatory tactic to increase profits as verified bot accounts are already in circulation, purchased using illegal methods. The true implications of this new subscription model are still largely unknown.

“As someone who has taken a course on global politics, I think Musk is aiming to achieve three things: remain competitive among big tech, keep their demographic of millennials and Gen Z, and ride on the growing trend of large tech influencing how we get our news,” Shih-En Chu (12), X user, said. “Musk already knows he has a loyal follower base. He claims to be stopping bots, but I think he is also trying to keep people on X by possibly expanding the subscription model to the whole user base to maintain their user base.”

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About the Contributor
Andrew Shin
Andrew Shin, Reporter
Andrew is a senior reporter for Tiger Times Online. He enjoys cycling, watching anime, and listening to some ? jazz ? in his off-time. Feel free to approach him with anime recommendations!

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