New York (CNN) Elon Musk has announced Twitter’s latest attempt to charge people $84 a year for the social network: Twitter will only promote tweets from paid subscribers, and non-subscribers will not be allowed to vote in polls.
Twitter’s “For You” tab, the first screen users see when they open the app, manages tweets using an algorithm. That means it can display tweets from people you don’t follow. The For You tab will soon only recommend people who pay for the premium Twitter Blue service.
“Starting April 15, only verified accounts will be eligible for ‘For You’ recommendations,” he announced in a statement. tweet Monday evening. “It’s the only realistic way to prevent advanced AI bot swarms from taking over. Otherwise, it’s a hopeless losing battle. Voting in polls requires verification for the same reason.”
Appearing in the “For You” feed helps users build their following. Voting in polls doesn’t have the same benefits for users, but blocking them from voting may encourage some to sign up for the paid service.
Musk regularly posts his own polls on Twitter, asking users everything from whether he should relinquish his position as CEO of the platform to whether he should buy shares of the platform. Tesla (TSLA) stock.
While Musk said Twitter is making the move to compete with bot accounts, he later said tweeted “That being said, it’s okay to have verified bot accounts if they follow the terms of service and don’t impersonate a human.”
It’s part of Musk’s plans to move Twitter away from relying almost entirely on ad dollars for revenue. A significant portion of Twitter’s ad base has left the platform since Musk took over in October.
Last week, Musk announced that users who have had a free blue check — typically government officials, celebrities, members of the media, and other high-profile users — will lose that free verification starting in April unless they agree to pay a subscription fee — $84 per year or $8 per month.
Musk and actor William Shatner clashed on Twitter this weekend, when Shatner objected to the idea of paying for the tick.
“Hey @elonmusk, what about blue checks that disappear unless we pay Twitter?” Shatner tweeted. “I’ve been here for 15 years giving my time and witty thoughts all for Bupkis. Now you’re telling me I have to pay for something you gave me for free?”
Musk responded to Shatner on Sunday in a tweet, “It’s more about treating everyone equally. There shouldn’t be any other norm for celebrities.”
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