Twitter to be paywalled for all users, says Musk

All users will soon have to pay to use Twitter, the social network now owned by and referred to as "X" by billionaire Elon Musk.

"We're moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system," Musk said.

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.

I'd be happy to see it all disappear behind a paywall, but the implementation is likely to be a paywall to post, not a paywall to read, as some are assuming today.

Pay-to-post meets his claimed purpose of stopping bots, and would also rid it of users who are critical of him and not paying for the privilege. It also meets the purported goal of turning Twitter into a friendlier platform for the people who loaned him money to buy it, such as the Saudis, and to more predictably influence U.S. politics.

A paywall to read it, though, would effectively strip it of the audience needed to make any of this happen—and kill it as the social media site of record, a status conferred on it by governments, corporations, newspapers and other media who treat it as such and even force their employees to participate there. Not gonna happen.