Elon Musk considers subscription fee for X/Twitter users

Elon Musk revealed Monday that he is considering charging all users a fee to use the rebranded social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. Musk revealed the plan during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Elon Musk revealed he is considering charging all users a fee to use the rebranded social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, as he met Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Musk discussed making X an entirely subscription-based platform during a live-streamed conversation on artificial intelligence.

We're "moving to a small monthly payment for use of the X system," Musk said, as he revealed the platform now has 550 million monthly users. Musk argued a fee would combat "vast armies of bots."

While he did not give any additional details on cost or timing, Musk's plan comes on the heels of a $344 million loss for the platform's last quarterly earnings report. It also follows an $8 a month subscription fee for X Blue, formerly called Twitter Blue, which features verified check-mark status, along with prioritized rankings of posts in every search.

Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion last October and laid off nearly half of the company's workforce, is also the chief executive officer of EV automaker Tesla and aerospace company SpaceX.

"Great meeting with Elon Musk," Netanyahu wrote in a post on X. "We talked about the ways to promote the field of artificial intelligence in Israel and in the world -- a key field that is so important to the future of our country."

Netanyahu praised Musk as "the current leader of the most dramatic development in the new age and perhaps in general." During Monday's meeting, which was held in California, Netanyahu said Musk "is, to a large degree, paving the way that will change the face of humanity and also the face of the State of Israel."

Netanyahu, who will travel this week to New York where he will meet with world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, called on Musk to "roll back" antisemitism on X.

"I know your commitment to free speech," Netanyahu said. "But I also know your opposition to antisemitism. You've spoken about it, tweeted about it. And all I can say is, I hope you find, within the confines of the First Amendment, the ability to stop not only antisemitism, or roll it back as best you can, but any collective hatred of people ... I know you're committed to that and I hope you succeed."

"Obviously, I'm against antisemitism," Musk replied. "I'm anti- really anything that is, you know, that promotes hate and conflict. And I'm in favor of that which helps society and takes us to a better future for humanity collectively."