Twitter, the social media platform now known as X after being purchased by Elon Musk, made an announcement this week that new users signing up via the website in New Zealand and the Philippines will need to pay a $1 per year subscription fee to join its new “Not A Bot” program.
This move seems to be an attempt by Twitter to cut down on spam accounts, bot activity, and manipulation of the platform. The $1 fee will only apply to new users signing up on the web, not through the Twitter mobile apps for iOS and Android. New web users who opt not to pay the $1 subscription will only have read-only access to Twitter, meaning they can view Tweets and watch videos but not interact.
The “Not A Bot” program and associated fee comes in addition to Twitter’s main subscription offering of $8 per month for advanced features like edit tweet. Since acquiring Twitter, CEO Elon Musk has been vocal about his belief that charging subscription fees will hamper the ability for bot armies and spam accounts to overrun the platform, though currently only a very small percentage of Twitter’s userbase pays for subscriptions.
It’s unclear exactly why this new $1 anti-spam fee is being targeted specifically at new users in New Zealand and the Philippines joining via Twitter’s website. The likely intent behind geo-targeting these two countries is that Twitter has identified them as regions where more bot and spam activity originates. Additionally, restricting the fee only to web signups may be an attempt to curb bot accounts created through automation, which tend to happen more often through Twitter’s website rather than its mobile apps.
As Twitter Continues Fight Against Automated Accounts, Focus Turns to High-Risk Regions
Elon Musk has claimed that time spent on Twitter is at an all-time high since he took over ownership of the company. However, fighting spam and keeping the platform engaging for real human users remains a priority. The new “Not A Bot” fee for the web in New Zealand and the Philippines seems to be the latest strategy for targeting areas where Twitter sees more bot creation happening.
You May Find Interest: Global Alarms Raised as Elon Musk’s Satellite Dominance Soars
For now, the $1 anti-spam charge applies only to these two countries. But if it succeeds in reducing automated account generation from those regions, Twitter may consider expanding the program. The continued crackdown reflects Elon Musk and Twitter’s commitment to reducing manipulative activities by bots, spammers, and inauthentic accounts.
As Twitter evolves under new leadership, it remains focused on improving the experience for genuine users while identifying high-risk regions where spam accounts originate. Though only a small portion of users pay for subscriptions, additional fees like the “Not A Bot” charge generate revenue while fighting abuse. For Twitter to thrive long-term, curbing automated manipulation without alienating real users will be key.