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X is testing a $1 annual "Not A Bot" fee for new accounts to post messages in two markets

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X (formerly Twitter) is starting to move toward a business model where almost every user will have to pay at least some money to access the social network. This evening, the company revealed it has started testing that new plan in two countries.

In a support website, X revealed that people who sign for new accounts in New Zealand and the Philippines will have to pay the equivalent of a $1 annual fee to get nearly all of its major features. That means residents of New Zealand will pay $1.43 NZD per year for a new X account, and the fee will be ₱42.51 PHP per year in the Philippines.

The new venture is being called the "Not A Bot" plan by X. The support site adds:

This new test was developed to bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity. 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. Within this test, existing users are not affected.

In addition to paying the annual fee, people who sign up for new accounts in those two countries will also have to verify their phone numbers as well

New unverified account users who don't pay the fee will only have a limited amount of features. They can just follow accounts, read posts and watch videos but cannot post messages, or like, reply, repost, or quote other posts.

In his own post on this plan, X owner Elon Musk stated, "It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users. This won’t stop bots completely, but it will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform." It's likely this is just the first step towards expanding this new "Not a Bot" plan to other parts of the world at some point in the future.

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