Elon Musk, the owner of the social media platform X, has announced the introduction of two new tiers of premium subscriptions. Musk revealed this upcoming development in an October 19 tweet. These subscriptions aim to increase revenue and lure back advertisers after a period of turmoil on the platform.
Subscription Plans Unveiled
Elon Musk revealed that X will offer two subscription options, which include lower and high-cost subscriptions. According to the tweet, the lower-cost subscription tier will contain all the platform’s features but will not eliminate ads.
Users who opt for this subscription will still experience advertisements while using the platform. However, the Ad-Free Premium Subscription tier is a more expensive plan that eliminates ads. Those who subscribe to this tier will have an ad-free experience on X.
Recall that Elon Musk took control of the platform in October 2022 and has been working to boost revenue since then. But the platform faced challenges after Musk’s takeover, causing many advertisers to withdraw their support.
Most of these challenges were due to staffing changes and the dissolution of content moderation teams. Furthermore, Musk attributed the revenue decline to pressure from activists. The new subscription initiative is likely a strategy to encourage advertisement and boost revenue.
Meanwhile, X initiated a test case in New Zealand and the Philippines to encourage users to subscribe. They conducted this test by charging new users $1 for access to the platform. Users who chose not to subscribe were limited to “read-only” actions, such as reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
This strategy is part of the “Not A Bot” subscription method, which aims to reduce the platform’s spam, manipulation, and bot activity.
X to Joins Other Platforms to Introduce Subscription Plans Amid Stiff Regulatory Scrutiny.
X’s introduction of premium subscriptions aligns with a broader trend among tech companies. Other major tech companies, such as Alphabet’s YouTube and Netflix, have experimented with a mix of ad-supported and subscription plans.
YouTube allocates a portion of its subscription revenue to compensate content creators. In contrast, X has not revealed whether content creators will receive compensation in the ad-free subscription models.
Elon Musk introduced the “blue check” subscription service to generate additional revenue, which costs $11 per month. This blue check service also offers companies a discount for advertising on the platform.
However, concerns about content moderation have led some advertisers to withdraw their support because they do not want their ads to appear next to inappropriate content.
The latest development comes as X faces stiff scrutiny from EU regulators over noncompliance with new rules against illegal and harmful content. The EU’s move follows widespread criticisms against X for allowing disinformation in the ongoing Hamas attack on Israel.
Thierry Breton, the EU industry chief, confirmed X’s official request for information to evaluate its Digital Services Act (DSA) compliance. This law aimed to safeguard users on major tech platforms.