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X starts charging new users for basic features

X starts charging new users for basic features

WASHINGTON: In what it claims ‘a trial aimed at reducing spam’, the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, has said it has started charging new users in New Zealand and the Philippines for basic features such as posting messages.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk, who bought Twitter last year for $44 billion, has long complained about fake accounts, bots and spam on the platform, introducing a number of controversial changes that have been sharply criticized by users across the world.

Under the trial, named “Not A Bot”, new users in New Zealand and the Philippines will have to pay an annual fee for the ability to write on X, like and reply to posts, and bookmark content. “This new program aims to defend against bots and spammers who attempt to manipulate the platform and disrupt the experience of other X users,” the company said on its website.

‘Not a profit driver’

“It is not a profit driver,” it said in a separate post on X. “So far, subscription options have proven to be the main solution that works at scale.”

It added that existing users will not be affected by the model, which will cost around $0.75 per year for new users in the Philippines and $0.85 for those in New Zealand.

Those who decline to pay will be able to access X in read-only mode, according to the company.

In June, Musk had claimed that 90 per cent of bots had already been removed.

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