CONFIRMED: Subscription Fee for Elon Musk’s X to Begin in the Philippines

According to Elon Musk, X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, is also charging the same fee in New Zealand.

In early 2023, X (formerly known as Twitter) had around 11.80 million users in the Philippines. However, it is uncertain as to whether this number will increase or decrease in the future, as Elon Musk has announced the possibility of charging an annual subscription fee to users—news that has soon become a reality in selected countries.

Yes, the Elon Musk-owned platform will now be charging a $1 (approximately PHP 56) fee—for now, both here in the Philippines and in New Zealand. 

It should be noted that the new program—known as Not a Bot—only applies to new users on X. It is also in its testing phase, which means it may or may not be continued eventually. 

“New, unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post & interact with other posts,” X’s Support tweeted. “Within this test, existing users are not affected.” 

Why X Decided to Test the Fee

According to X, the subscription fee is the company’s attempt to reduce spam on the platform. “This new test was developed to bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity, while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount,” the tweet added. 

Because of the new program, users will first have to verify their phone numbers. Once that has been accomplished, users will then have to select their preferred subscription plan. 

X has denied that profit has motivated the implementation of the fee. As of press time, it has yet to explain why the fee is being tested only in the Philippines and New Zealand. 

How This Affects Both X and Its New Users

The new fee, despite being aimed towards reducing spam tweets and bots, can negatively affect the number of new users that will come on the platform. While it can be argued that the fee is relatively small, many users might find that X is not worth the fee it is asking for. In fact, many might also feel that this new transaction is a hassle and not worth the trouble.

From a business standpoint, the fee can also negatively affect brands—whether they already have an existing account or they are planning to create a new one.

Why? For those planning to create new accounts, the fee will be an added cost on their end. On the other hand, those with existing accounts may struggle to reach a bigger audience if the number of new users decreases. 

And finally, given these changes, it is uncertain whether this will result in a decrease in users—which will prove detrimental in terms of engagement and viewership for businesses, should that happen.