Twitter, now renamed X, is testing new $1 annual subscriptions to provide unverified accounts access to core features like tweeting and retweeting.
This move is part of a new beta program named “Not A Bot” that went live starting Tuesday for users in New Zealand and the Philippines.
Set up as a recurring subscription service, the program provides unverified Twitter accounts with what the company describes as “write-level functionality.”
More to the point, after subscribing, users will gain privileges to post content, like, reply, repost, quote, bookmark other accounts’ posts, and perform various other writing actions on the platform.
While new unverified accounts will have to subscribe to a $1 annual plan to tweet and interact with other people’s tweets, existing users remain unaffected by this trial.
The company said the test program was introduced as part of an ongoing initiative to curb spam, platform manipulation, and bot activity on Twitter.
“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. It is not a profit driver,” Twitter says.
“And so far, subscription options have proven to be the main solution that works at scale.”
Newly registered accounts in New Zealand and the Philippines must now verify their phone numbers for authentication. Those who choose not to subscribe will have limited privileges, restricted to “read-only” actions, including reading posts, watching videos, and following accounts.
In New Zealand, users must pay an annual fee of $NZD 1.43 for Not-A-Bot subscriptions, while in the Philippines, the yearly fee stands at ₱42.51.
“This is to reduce bots and spam to make the experience better for everyone. You can still follow accounts and browse X for free,” users are told when asked to sign up.
Earlier this year, Twitter also blocked access to the platform for people without an account, redirecting visitors to a “Sign in to Twitter” screen, where they were prompted to either login or sign up for a new account.
The social network also rolled out encrypted direct messages, a long-expected feature now only available to Twitter Blue subscribers.