Elon Musk to charge new X users $1 per year in Philippines, New Zealand

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SAN FRANCISCO:  Owner and chairman of X Elon Musk, will now charge new users in the Philippines and New Zealand about $0.75 and $0.85 respectively, each year to further engage or post on social media ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, reported Al Jazeera.

However, those who decline to pay the amount will only be able to read posts, watch videos and follow accounts, the company added.

“This will evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount,” the company said in a statement.

X stressed that the new fee would “bolster” existing efforts to reduce spam and “manipulation of our platform and bot activity”. With the new development, existing users in the Philippines and New Zealand would not be affected.

Moreover, bots are accounts run by computer programs rather than humans, reported Al Jazeera.

Since billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter last year for $44 billion, this annual subscription is the latest update in the controversial changes to the social media platform ‘X’.

Meanwhile, thousands of employees have been fired, content moderation has been cut and the blue tick, which was earlier used to identify verified accounts has been given to anyone willing to pay $8 a year.

Earlier in July, the company rebranded itself to ‘X’ and also dropped the blue bird logo which was earlier used to symbolise the use of the platform, reported Al Jazeera.

In August, Elon Musk announced that X would soon see features like audio and video calls integrated in the platform.

The feature will be compatible with Android, iOS, PC, and Mac. Interestingly, the calls can be made without any phone number, as Musk stated.

“Video & audio calls coming to X: – Works on iOS, Android, Mac & PC – No phone number needed – X is the effective global address book …That set of factors is unique,” he wrote on X.

The audio and video calls are, however, another step towards Musk’s vision of X becoming the “everything app”. Musk has often seen himself as a challenger to Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and has a vision to make X bigger.

In a post on X earlier this month Musk said “The sad truth is that there are no great “social networks” right now. We may fail, as so many have predicted, but we will try our best to make there be at least one. (ANI)

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