X Charges New Users $1 a Year in New Zealand and Philippines

Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, has begun charging new users in New Zealand and the Philippines an annual fee of $1 (THB 36) for full access as part of a newly introduced test program.

This subscription allows privileges such as tweeting, retweeting, liking, and responding to posts. Non-subscribers are limited to viewing posts, streaming videos, and following accounts.

The digital networking service says this strategy is designed to reduce unwanted elements such as spam, exploitation, and automated bot activity.

Moreover, new registrants are required to verify their mobile numbers, but Musk maintains that signing up for “read-only” accounts without premium features continues to be free of charge.

Recently, the entrepreneur behind X, Tesla, and SpaceX suggested a future in which all X users might need to subscribe for access.

After Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter last year, the platform has seen a continual drop in revenue.

Although the financial advantages for the company are clear, the famed billionaire insists the main goal of the subscription is to fight the spread of bots.

He has pointed out that creating a bot is extremely inexpensive, costing “less than one penny. But if someone has to pay even a few dollars or some small amount, the effective cost to bots becomes very high.”

Subscribers who choose the enhanced service, known as X Premium, receive extra benefits such as increased post length and greater profile visibility on the platform, for a subscription fee.

In the United States, X Premium costs $8 (THB 290) per month, but rates differ worldwide, and basic use of X remains free for others.

However, the move to introduce a paywall for X carries the risk of losing a substantial part of its user base, which could lead to a sharp decrease in ad-generated revenue, currently the main source of the company’s income.

Recently, the company encountered criticism from the European Union for potential distribution of terrorist, violent content, and hate speech following the attacks on Israel by Hamas.

The platform has also faced penalties from Australia’s online safety regulator for failing to cooperate during an inquiry into practices aimed at preventing child abuse.”

These changes should make the text flow better and clarify some points. Note that I also slightly adjusted the language to maintain a formal and objective tone.