The social networking platform X, formerly known as Twitter, announced on Tuesday that it will begin charging new users in New Zealand and the Philippines for basic capabilities such as message posting.
X, which has been owned by billionaire Elon Musk since last year, stated in a statement that its new subscription system will “bolster” existing efforts to combat spam and “manipulation of our platform and bot activity.”
Under the trial, new online users in the Philippines and New Zealand will have to pay X per year, which is around $0.75 and $0.85, respectively, in order to access basic functions such as posting on the site.
Those who decline to pay the nominal fee will only have access to a “read-only” version of the platform, limiting them to reading posts, watching videos and following accounts, the company said.
“This will evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount,” it added.
Existing users in these countries are not affected.
Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion last year, Musk has made a number of contentious changes to the social media company’s administration and product.
He recently proposed charging all users a little price to use the site in order to combat bogus accounts, which drew harsh condemnation from users all around the world.