Elon Musk plans to paywall Twitter & charge every user ‘a small monthly payment’

I’m still on Twitter, and yes, I’ll continue to deadname that stupid platform. Elon Musk has made the Twitter experience dumber, more racist, more antisemitic, and more Nazi-ish. But… I still have so many friends on the platform and there are still cool people saying funny sh-t. Still, if Musk’s latest move goes through, I will say sayonara to the only social media platform I use regularly. Musk claims he will soon roll out a paywall for Twitter. Meaning, everyone will have to “pay” to use Twitter. I’m out. You got me.

Elon Musk has indicated that X, formerly known as Twitter, is preparing to charge all users for accessing the platform. The X owner said erecting a paywall around the business would ward off the bots, or automated accounts, that have become a bugbear for Musk.

Speaking in a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, the Tesla CEO and world’s richest person suggested that X was going to charge its user base. Currently, Twitter only charges users for its subscription service X Premium, which offers perks such as a verified account checkmark and costs $11 a month in the US for iPhones and £11 in the UK.

“We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system,” Musk said.

Saying that bots cost “a fraction of a penny” to set up, Musk added that raising the cost of an account to “a few dollars or something” could put off operators of the software. He added: “Plus, every time a bot creator wanted to make another bot, they would need another new payment method.”

Musk also said X had 550 million monthly users generating up to 200m posts a day. Previously, the platform had measured its user base by a different method, monetisable daily active users, which stood at 238 million before Musk bought the business in October 2022.

Musk has raised the prospect of a paywall as the platform battles an entrenched decline in advertising, its main source of income. Musk has said an advertiser boycott, spurred by concerns over his leadership of the platform and its management of inappropriate or hateful content, has caused ad revenue to decline by 60%.

[From The Guardian]

Part of me wonders if this is another feint, or something which Musk announced in a half-assed way, and he’ll backtrack as soon as people convince him that a paywall will effectively end the platform. Remember the blue-check debacle? Musk insisted that celebrities and brands would have to pay for verification and celebrities/brands/public figures laughed in his face and so he backtracked. This feels like a repeat of that. All of which to say… yeah, I’ll probably need to pull the trigger on getting that Blue Sky account. Some of you have sent me invitations before but I put it off. Guess what, I have a BlueSky account as of this morning! Holler at me @kaiseratcb.bsky.social!!

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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54 Responses to “Elon Musk plans to paywall Twitter & charge every user ‘a small monthly payment’”

  1. Immaculate Misconception says:

    This definitely feels like another half assed, rushed out, off the top of his head thought that he should’ve kept to himself. Just like everything else with his chaotic overtaking of Twitter. However, I do have to say that if they do move to a pay to play format with Twitter, it will finally be the last straw that gets me off the platform. Twitter has become a Nazi hellscape, but for some reason I keep coming back. 🙁

    • Enis says:

      I had to leave Xitter for my mental heath. One can only take so much white nationalism in the day, and I get plenty of that from my family.

    • bananapanda says:

      So this all started last year when Elon Musk was still in talks to buy Twitter – the major advertisers asked for clarity on his leadership plans, specifically curbing hate speech and MAGA, and he refused to answer. Stupid.

      As a result none of the major advertisers placed their their annual ad $$ for Twitter. The result was 5-10% of $$ in September when they usually receive 70-80% of their annual income. Musk has desperately trying to make that $$ up somehow with increasingly stupid ideas.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    Loser. A money grab and information grab to sell to the Saudi’s he’s in bed with. There may be fools that stay but he’s not getting any of my coins.

  3. L84Tea says:

    I enjoy Twitter in small doses for the trainwreck that it is, but yeah, if we have to pay for it, I’m out.

    • Christine says:

      Same. It’s my go-to when there is an earthquake, and I’m too freaked out to go back to sleep. I can figure out the other social media platforms I am not on currently for free. I’m sure they talk about earthquakes too.

      • Abby says:

        It is the source I go to when we have a bad storm and I want to see if there’s a tornado or hail coming. That is honestly the main reason I use it these days. I dont want to watch the newscast, I just want to quickly see where the issues are and if they’re coming my way.

        Our local meteorologist does a REALLY good job of this on Twitter.

      • Christine says:

        I grew up in Oklahoma, so I am jealous of your amazing meteorologist. There is no one in California who can measure up to Gary England. Seriously, the Weather Channel is more accurate here, and it was always the joke in Oklahoma that you could recognize a transplant, if they watched the Weather Channel.

  4. Danbury says:

    I’m on Spoutible now as I wait for Twitter to die – I have to say I really like it, though it hasn’t taken off as fast as I had hoped

    • Plums says:

      I wish more squaddies seriously migrated over. A lot of them made accounts but then went back to twitter, which I haven’t been back to ever since Elon made it inaccessible for anyone who wasn’t logged in. Never had a twitter account, never getting one.

    • The Old Chick says:

      I have spoutible too but the squad content isn’t great. Nothing like Twitter. I’m off X now but hoping for good /better squad content

    • Bee (not THAT Bee) says:

      I like Spoutible but haven’t spent much time there. More than I spend on twitter tho!

      Spoutible is well run and nazis and jerks are not welcome.

  5. Prairiegirl says:

    Question for any accountant Celebitches out there: If Musk drives the company into the ground to the point of bankruptcy, what are the tax implications? Can he use this as a strategy to write down other corporate debt? Get out of massive loans?

    I certainly don’t believe he’s a genius but I also don’t believe he’s quite this stupid. Although both could be true 🤷🏻‍♀️.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      Yeah, I suspect he’s trying to kill the platform, especially for progressives. That’s always been his main issue anyway. Too much progressive content. And it probably would make a nice tax write off, although I’m certainly no expert on that. He’s pond scum, but that’s an insult to pond scum.

      • BeanieBean says:

        It seems like intentional internal sabotage to me, too. Zero idea how it would benefit him, except I’m sure it does.

    • The Old Chick says:

      Depends on the structure, its possible. But if I were planning to bankrupt twitter with the amount of investers he’s got I’d put it in a container. However we don’t know the aims of his trashing it (I’m also not American so assuming based on what I know). Typically if you want to bankrupt one biz you sep from the others. He’s got shit loads of write downs anyway.

  6. equality says:

    I wouldn’t trust EM with financial info to make a payment. I dropped twitter when he took it over anyway. I don’t believe he cares if there are bots or not. If the bots were willing to pay, I bet he’d take the money whether it was a “new payment method” or not.

  7. Becks1 says:

    I’m not paying for any social media. I just got on the wait list for Bluesky. What about Threads? Is that not a good option because its part of Meta? I mean I’m on FB and IG already……

    I mean I like the idea of cracking down on bots. But I dont like twitter enough to pay 5 dollars a month for it, lol.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I heard, let’s say… not very good things about Threads… I have not been on FB since I received death threats in 2016 and received no support from the platform staff.

      I’m on IG but my account only has a few followers so nobody bothers me there.

    • ariel says:

      I was waitlisted for a bluesky account months ago. I then deleted the app.
      I am on threads. I like it, it is much less chaotic evil than twitter. But the people are so focused on politics- sometimes you just want to look at photos of dogs or cats, and read stuff that’s funny. That’s where threads has disappointed me.
      That and all the “lists” i read – best of – all are still tweets pulled from twitter.
      It is disappointing.
      I don’t care which app- i just need everyone to pick the same one.

      • LeeAnn says:

        I too have been waitlisted since Jack announced it’s beta version. No acceptance yet, but I’m on Threads and Post. Much calmer, kinder, more informed and Elon should pay us to post or read his 3 billion dollar personal fluffer.

  8. Isa says:

    Is there anyway to download your tweets and save them? I have tons of funny things my kids said or did tweeted and I want to save them and close out my account.

    • Bren says:

      Yes, go to settings – your account – download an archive of your data.

    • Persephone says:

      Added to what @Bren said, Isa – don’t close your account. Delete your tweets, likes, images, etc. and then lock you account and change your password. Then DO NOT login again.

      This way, no one will be able to use your User ID, since User IDs are recycled eventually.

  9. Carmen says:

    I’m not paying jack. He charges, I’m gone.

  10. Michelle says:

    Emo will kill Twitter bc that’s why he bought it. No accident. If any CBers have an extra Blue Sky invite, I’d be eternally grateful!

  11. Duchess of hazard says:

    I am already the content on twitter, so I won’t be paying for it. Got an account on bluesky and hope that more ppl go over there in due course. He really killed the app in less than a year.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I just had a look but… I don’t know anyone who’s in so no invitation, no BlueSky…

      • Peanut Butter says:

        Same here, AlpineWitch, from another alpine witch. I truly don’t get the gimmick of requiring “invitations” to join a social media network. If it’s supposed to make me covet it more, it’s not working. 🙄 Five, ten years ago, I really enjoyed Twitter and found it useful, too. Thanks, Elmo, for ruining it.

      • AlpineWitch says:

        Yeah I agree, Peanut Butter. Even staying on social media gas become a mess now.

        Thank God I’m old and don’t need to be online that much anyway.

  12. Kitten says:

    He could have been known as the Tesla/Space exploration guy but now he’ll forever be known as the dude who killed Twitter. I can’t wait till everyone realizes that billionaires are why we can’t have nice things.

  13. Abby says:

    I downloaded my archive when it looked like the twitter headquarters was literally going to burn down.

    I haven’t really used twitter in years. I do read content there fairly regularly, but no. I will not pay for this platform. I pay for one Patreon account and a couple of Substack newsletters. But I’m not paying for Twitter. If I have to give out my CC info I will delete the account I set up in 2008. There’s no way.

  14. Jessica says:

    I deleted my twitter account the day my phone app updated to the stupid x logo. No way would I pay for it. I don’t know which replacement to go with, so I have none. Been spending a lot more time on Reddit and actually reading books now that I’m not scrolling twitter. Sucks though, I had fun over there.

  15. Scm154 says:

    Please advise:
    Which app best duplicates Xitter’s search, hashtag and block features?

  16. Flowerlake says:

    Maybe go on Tumblr.

    A lot of progressive people are migrating back

  17. Amy says:

    Twitter was a life line for me during the tRump years. But I am not going to pay Elon Musk one damned penny to use it. I will be sad to lose the ability to see news unfolding, but sometimes I think staying out of breaking news is good for me mentally.

  18. Lau says:

    He sounds as if he’s disapointed because twitter is not dying fast enough.

  19. Northernlala says:

    I’d love to hear your reviews of BlueSky @Kaiser. Just seeing screenshots, it looks similar to Twitter. If the idiot starts charging, I’m outta there.

  20. Bettyrose says:

    Let’s not let this distract us from the fact that he was meeting with his apartheid twin Netanyahu. Musk is not a political leader. WTF are Musk and Netanyahu cooking up together?

  21. Ace says:

    At this point Twitter is obviously doomed, so it may be better if this dumbass tries to make people pay for it so it dies asap.

    I’ve got to say that it annoys me that it seems people are mostly moving to bluesky because that place is already halfway into the direction that twitter went a few years ago. Most of the alternatives suck sure, but some suck more than others and in my opinion bluesky is one of those.

  22. Flamingo says:

    He wants to weed the bots out so he can mine actual users to sell their information. The Artist Formerly Known as Twitter is revenue useless to him in its current form.

    It is amusing watching him twist in the wind trying to figure out how to make it profitable for himself.

  23. Elsa says:

    I only come to twitter for this account. Twitter seems fairly useless now. It seems to only show me things that I have zero interest in reading.

  24. Tarte au Citron says:

    If Meta or MySpace couldn’t successfully charge end users, what chance does Elmo have?

    Whoever is running ads at Twitter is making the site just as spammy as the bots.

  25. LarkspurLM says:

    That tool is not getting one cent from me. Twitter is (was?) so useful during emergencies (wildfires here in NorCal) for up to the minute reports.

    Also, I will never own a T*sla, only rock on with the music from the band with the same name. Signs signs everywhere there’s signs 🙂

  26. Christine says:

    I feel incredibly old. I have never heard of bluesky, until this article.

  27. Normades says:

    I left as soon as he took over.

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