Opinion: Is there a secret agenda behind Musk's $1/Year paywall to tweet?

Mike Masnick

You will recall that, last month, Elon Musk mentioned in passing that he’d decided the only way to stop bots and spam on Twitter (which he’d already claimed to have stopped a few times earlier) was to paywall the entire site with “a small monthly payment for use of the X system.”


But, it does seem like the kind of friction that is pretty likely to kill off more casual usage, which the site relies on to grow.


And while perhaps it’s not a huge deal if it really is only going to be for “new” users (so long as you believe the site is fine with the users it currently has), how long does anyone really believe that’s going to last? If Musk remains hard up for cash at exTwitter, you have to expect that the fee will be expanded to everyone over time.

After hearing about the $1 paywall here’s the first thing that entered my mind. Are bots the real reason for the paywall or is there another agenda? Let’s not forget that Musk wants to make ex/Twitter into a payments platform.

According to Financial Times, ex/Twitter has begun laying the groundwork to introduce payments across the platform, as part of Musk’s plan to open up fresh revenue streams. A team led by Esther Crawford is designing the software and infrastructure needed to facilitate payments, and Twitter has also begun applying for the necessary regulatory licenses. If the licensing process goes smoothly, Twitter could launch its payments service within a year.

Having access to every user's credit card information before the payment platform's launch could streamline the user experience, as ex/Twitter would already have their credit card details on hand.

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