Will a paid access system sound the death knell for X (formerly Twitter)?

Do you also think that a paid access system for using Twitter or X sounds like the death knell for the social media platform after going through a sequence of changes? Read this article to dig out more about this.

Since Tesla boss Elon Musk took over Twitter now X, the microblogging site has undergone several changes. It has been in talks for many reasons from mass layoffs to laying new rules and guidelines for using this little birdie. Oops, we may not address it with this cute name anymore since it now has a new name as well which is X. One of the several big changes Musk made to the largest microblogging site is formally changing its name to X and later changing Twitter logo to an X on a black background. The little bluebird has been replaced by X at the Twitter headquarters as well as the Apple Store and Google Store.

What is not worthy here is that Musk took over the @X, which belonged to a photo event company co-founder Gene X Hwang for the last 16 years, by just sending a mail. Hwang said in an interview that he was ready to sell his account but it was taken over by merely sending a mail. A meeting with the company's management and some X merchandise were offered to Hwang but no financial incentives were offered. In the meantime, the company has changed the account handle for Mr. Hwang to "@x12345678998765." Twitter's rebranding from Bluebird to the black and white X has also raised concerns that Microsoft and Meta might sue due to the same typeface.

Well, we can understand Musk's obsession with the name X since it all began with his first startup x.com and still adding to his profile with his space exploration venture Space X, and the recently launched artificial intelligence app xAI. The x.com domain still belongs to Musk which now redirects to twitter.com. For unversed, one of the earliest models of Tesla, the electric car company owned by Musk, was also Model X. This is all fair enough and acceptable to some extent.

Elon Musk Thinking of Making X a Paid Site

Elon Musk

But what comes as a more annoying and unacceptable change is charging a fee for the use of this world's largest microblogging site. During a live-streaming talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the business magnet revealed that there will be a 'small charge' on using X, formerly known as Twitter. " We are moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system," Musk said during the interaction.

In an attempt to justify his decision, Musk added, "This is the only way I can think of to combat the vast armies of bots." However, the decision and justification did not go down well with everyone and are being criticized from every sector and people from every walk of life. We know that Musk has been very clear with his goal to turn Twitter into something like WeChat, the Chinese social network. No matter what the reason is the paid access system evoked negative responses and even dubbed the death knell for X/Twitter.

While it's fine and good to fight bots, the notion that Twitter users will pay for its paid services seems quite unlikely given the reports that just 827k people subscribed to the social network's paid services as of mid-August. This is barely a number compared to Musk's boast of 540 million monthly users in July. Since the announcement was made social media has been flooded with mixed responses. We have listed a few for you here:

I will pay for oxygen rather I pay for this app, there is just no way I am sticking around to subscribe to Twitter.
Tracy Manus an X user posted this on the site.

Many others drew attention for their humorous approach including the one saying,
I will be willing to pay a small fee for Twitter on the condition that Musk hands it over to Dolly Parton and walks away and she deletes his account.

Moreover, there may not be a small enough price tag to maintain the many users who have been contemplating leaving the site for many months now. According to the current pricing, X premium costs $8 per month in the US, but the price varies depending on the country the user is located in. Subscribing to this service offers a variety of features including editing posts, reducing ad loads, prioritizing rankings in search and conversations, and writing larger posts. The price Musk paid for Twitter was $44 billion after months of discussions and negotiations. A significant portion of the purchase price was financed by debt of approximately $13 billion. In addition to Twitter's existing social networking and messaging capabilities, Musk aims to make X a 'super app' that includes payments, banking, and videos.

Final Thoughts

This is not the first time that Musk has brought up the idea of putting Twitter/X to completely behind a paywall. This time he has not revealed the time of implementation or how much is it going to cost. What he just mentioned is a small monthly fee or a few dollars for the use of the social networking site. So, it remains to see how and when the plan will roll out or if the paid access system will really prove as the death knell for the X formerly known as Twitter.


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