X users were up in arms after owner, Elon Musk, said he might move the social media to an entirely subscription-based model, charging all users for access to the platform.
Musk brought up the idea when speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a conversation intended to focus on the future of AI.
“We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” Musk said, arguing that it was the only way to “combat vast armies of bots.”
The billionaire owner of X did not mention when he would enact such a change and was ambiguous with pricing, saying it would likely cost “a few dollars or something.”
X users immediately fought back, with many saying they would leave the platform in lieu of paying Musk’s social media platform a monthly subscription fee.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 19, 2023
“WHERE do we go ??” wrote Henry Winkler.
“Basically he’s saying, ‘If I had to pay too much for Twitter you do too,'” said Kara Swisher.
“This would be great because it would likely be the final step to truly killing Twitter/X as a an influential platform and possibly as a company,” @EladNehorai posted to the platform.
“That’ll about do it,” wrote @JoshMankiewicz.
“Love a ‘town square’ that you have to pay to access…” said @BenjaminGoggin.
“Oh, honey. You’re not getting a dime,” said @scalzi.
“If this indeed comes to pass, while it’s been a pleasure and an honor, this Fella will be moving to other platforms. Twitter can rot in its own filth just fine without me,” wrote @BrianTheFella.
“Will be the most effective way to keep me off this site,” said @imLeor.
“Elon Musk charging everyone for Twitter would be the final hammer blow to a ton of small-time writers like me. That’s also one of his biggest reasons for moving forward.,” wrote @themaxburns.
“You’ll never convince me that the downfall of Twitter is anything other than the goal of this entire clown show. He was sent to destroy it. There’s no other explanation. No one is this stupid unless it’s on purpose,” said @BrettPransky.
X’s current subscription offerings include X Blue, a major part of Musk’s rebranding effort, which is priced at $8 per month. X Blue members receive a verified checkmark, which has been a source of controversy for the social media.
Musk tapped former NBCUniversal sales executive Linda Yaccarino to be CEO of X, earlier this year. While Musk remains in control of the company, Yaccarino has claimed that she has autonomy in her role at the social media platform.