Social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, has taken a bold step to counteract the proliferation of scam bots and spam. On October 17, they unveiled a subscription model initially made available to users in New Zealand and the Philippines. Under this new system, new users in these regions will be required to pay an annual fee of $1 to unlock specific features on the platform. These features encompass posting content, liking, replying, reposting, quoting posts from other accounts, and bookmarking. Furthermore, new users in these areas must undergo phone number verification.
The primary goal of this initiative is to fortify the platform against the disruptive presence of bots and spammers, who often manipulate it to the detriment of genuine X users. Notably, it’s important to clarify that the subscription fee is optional. Nevertheless, users who opt not to pay will have restricted functionality, limited to “read-only” actions such as reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
X has significantly intensified its efforts to combat bot and spam issues since Elon Musk acquired the microblogging platform last year. Under Musk’s leadership, the social media company introduced a paid blue badge verification program aimed at reducing the prevalence of these accounts on the platform. However, the platform has continued to grapple with this problem. The introduction of this new subscription model has triggered mixed reactions from members of the crypto community. Some argue that it may not effectively resolve the platform’s spam issues. On-chain analyst okHOTSHOT expressed, “X is so focused on the idea that revenue streams will help fight bots. If only they’d consider the obvious solution: follower filters, similar to the current notification filter.”
Co-founder Ki Young Ju noted that the $1 paywall might not be sufficient to deter spammers, who can generate considerably higher profits from their scams. Meanwhile, renowned on-chain investigator ZachXBT pointed out that most bot accounts on the platform already pay for the blue checkmark. Additionally, CryptoSlate has observed scam accounts holding gold checkmarks, which cost thousands of dollars per month.