Elon Musk Hints at Subscription Paywall for X, Says It Is 'Only Way' to Tackle 'Army of Bots' Musk says the paywall would be a "small amount of money."

By Madeline Garfinkle

Key Takeaways

  • Elon Musk said introducing a small monthly fee to use X is the most effective way to tackle the app's bot problem.
  • Since Musk acquired X in October 2022, the platform has faced a series of changes and ongoing financial challenges.

Would you pay to use X (formerly Twitter)? The concept has been talked about for years, but now it appears to be one step closer to reality.

X owner Elon Musk hinted at possibly implementing a subscription paywall for all users during a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. During the talk, Musk mentioned that the company was considering a monthly fee, which he says would be "a small amount of money" for using X, and argued that such a change was necessary to address the issue of bots plaguing the platform.

"The single most important reason that we are moving to [have] is a small monthly payment for the use of the X system, is it is the only way I could think of to combat vast armies of bots," Musk said.

Related: Elon Musk Took a $1 Billion Loan From SpaceX Before $44 Billion Acquisition of Twitter

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, argued that despite bots being inexpensive to operate (costing a "fraction of a penny" or "tenth of a penny"), if they were required to pay a small fee, the overall cost would be significantly higher, making the accounts less viable.

"We are actually going to come up with a lower-tier pricing. We want it to be just a small amount of money," Musk said, adding that the possibility is a "longer discussion" but the "only" way to tackle the issue.

Musk did not provide further details about the plan nor specify when such a change might take effect.

Since acquiring the platform in October 2022, X has faced a series of changes and challenges both financially and critically. In May, investment group Fidelity assessed X's value to be $15 billion, which is approximately one-third of the $44 billion Elon Musk had invested in the platform when he acquired it. During the same month, internal documents obtained by The New York Times revealed that X's advertising revenue had declined by 59% compared to the previous year.

In July, Musk posted on X and acknowledged the financial challenges, citing a significant drop in advertising revenue and a heavy debt burden. In August, he shared another ominous post, admitting that the platform "may fail" amid its onslaught of hurdles.

Related: Elon Musk Accused of Deliberately Slowing Down Links to News Outlets and Competitors on X

In his discussion with Netanyahu, the topic of hate speech was brought up, wherein Musk stated that he is "against antisemitism" and "anything that promotes hate and conflict.

In mid-August, Media Matters for America released a report that found over a dozen brands' ads were placed alongside a verified pro-Nazi account. As a result, two of these brands promptly halted their advertising expenditure on the platform.

Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

'It's Getting Worse By the Week': Kevin O'Leary Issues Grave Warning About Commercial Real Estate Industry

The "Shark Tank" star spoke to impending devaluation of stocks in the industry on FOX Business' "Varney & Co."

Growing a Business

Running a Profitable Restaurant Is Not Easy. But Coach Chip Klose Has a Plan for You.

Author and restaurant coach Chip Klose discusses his method for making 20% profit in the restaurant business.

Business News

Walgreens' Battle Over High-Tech Cooler Doors Heats Up

The lawsuit, initially filed in June, is seeking $200 million in damages.

Business News

These Great-Grandparents Booked 51 Back-to-Back Cruises Because It's 'Cheaper Than a Retirement Home'

Retirees Marty and Jess Ansen hopped on a cruise ship nearly two years ago and never left.


5 Essential Tips on How to Be a Great Manager

Here are five key tips that will help you become an effective and successful manager.

Business News

'Beware': Tom Hanks Warns of AI Danger After Advertisement Uses His Likeness Without Permission

The actor shared a screenshot of the false advertisement to his 9.5 million Instagram followers.