(NEXSTAR) — X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, announced it will begin charging certain users a $1 annual fee to access basic features as part of a test to crack down on bots and spammers.
The test, coined “Not A Bot,” rolled out Tuesday in two countries: New Zealand and the Phillippines. New users in these regions must subscribe to the plan to post, like, reply to, quote, or bookmark content on the web version of the platform.
Those who opt out of paying will only be able to view posts, watch videos, and follow accounts.
The company said in a blog post that it developed the program “to defend against bots and spammers who attempt to manipulate the platform and disrupt the experience of other X users.”
It also noted that the test does not apply to existing accounts. New Zealand and the Phillippines are the only countries where X is conducting the test now. It’s unclear how long the test will last.
X owner Elon Musk shared the news on his account, saying the latest move is “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,” Musk posted.
In another post on X, the company’s support team said the test is not a “profit driver” and that subscription options “have proven to be the main solution that works at scale” in combating spam accounts and bot activity.
Last year, the social network launched an optional subscription plan, now called X Premium, that costs users $8 a month to access select features — including the once-coveted blue checkmark. It upended the company’s previous verification system, which aimed to prevent impersonations of celebrities, politicians, and other high-profile accounts.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.