X, formerly known as Twitter, has confirmed it is testing a new paid subscription model requiring new users to pay a small fee in order to access core features like posting tweets, retweeting, bookmarking, and liking content.
The new subscription, called “Not a Bot,” is currently being trialed in New Zealand and the Philippines where new users must pay the equivalent of $1 USD per year to post content. In a statement, X explained the subscription is part of its ongoing efforts to reduce spam, manipulation, and bot activity on the platform.
Under the new scheme, new users will need to verify their phone numbers and pay the $1 annual fee to tweet, retweet, bookmark, and like content. Users who do not pay will only be able to access X in a read-only mode.
X stated the fee will not apply to existing users at this time and is not intended to drive profits. However, the trial has fueled speculation that X may eventually charge all users as part of its anti-spam and bot efforts.
Last month, X owner Elon Musk suggested mandatory payment could be required in the future during a livestreamed talk. His remarks proved unpopular as activity spiked on competing platform Bluesky following the comments.
According to Musk’s biographer Walter Isaacson, the X owner has long wanted access to users’ billing details to further his vision of an “everything app.” Musk was reportedly angered to learn Apple does not share credit card info of users who sign up via iPhones.
X did not respond to a request for comment on the trial or future plans.