Elon Musk has said he will charge people to use X because it is the ‘only way to protect against bot accounts’.
The billionaire owner of the platform – formerly known as X – says users will face a ‘small monthly payment’.
However, experts have warned that the change could be the ‘final push’ for some users to delete the app.
Speaking to MailOnline, Jake Moore, a cybersecurity expert at ESET, said: ‘Bots have been an issue on the platform since the beginning but when Musk laid off mass numbers of employees including security staff, the issue rose to rather uncontrollable lengths.
‘Requesting payment from all users could potentially mitigate this problem but he could have a bigger problem in his hands with a mass exodus of users.
‘With many similar alternatives already set up such as Threads and Mastadon, this could be the final push for some users to crossover to the competition.’
Ben Foster, CEO at Sheffield-based digital marketing agency, The SEO Works, was also scathing of the plan.
‘If a pure subscription really is the only feasible model moving forward, this could sound the death knell for X’, he said.
‘Most people will not be prepared to pay for something they can get elsewhere for free. Without people and debate, the platform loses its impact.
‘Even with the change of name, the brand is toxic for some advertisers, and with a massively reduced audience it will be even less appealing.’
Musk revealed his plans to charge users during a livestreamed conversation with Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
‘I’d say the single most important reason we’re moving towards having a small monthly payment for use of the X system is that it’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,’ Musk said.
‘A bot costs a fraction of a penny, but if somebody has to pay a few dollars or something… you have to get a new payment method every time you have a new bot.
‘Prioritizing posts that are written by X premium subscribers, we’re actually going to come up with a lower tier pricing. We want it to be a small amount of money.
‘It’s a longer discussion, but in my view this is the only defense against vast armies of bots. As the AI gets really good it’s getting better at passing the captcha tests than humans.’
While further details on the charge remain unclear, several furious users have taken to the platform following the news.
‘Would be a great excuse to give up using Twitter for good,’ one user wrote.