Only users subscribing to Twitter will be getting "For You" recommendations in their timelines and be able to participate in polls after April 15, billionaire owner Elon Musk announced Monday.
"Starting April 15, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in 'For You' recommendations," Musk said in a post on the social network Monday. "The is the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle. Voting in polls will require verification for same reason."
He also said that as long as "bot" accounts follow the company's terms of service and do not impersonate humans, they will be able to have a "verified" account.
The $8 per month "Twitter Blue" subscription "is an opt-in, paid subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account and offers early access to select features, like 'Edit Tweet,'" according to the company.
Previously, users who had some level of notoriety were able to get the blue check mark for their accounts without paying for the service, but by verifying their identity.
The new subscription service expands beyond that verification, according to Twitter.
"In addition to the blue checkmark, Twitter Blue features offer subscribers a way to enhance and customize their Twitter experience," the company's website said. "These powerful controls are designed to help personalize Twitter, and give early access to our newest features before they're available to everyone."
Musk, who owns Tesla and SpaceX, bought the social media giant last fall for around $44 billion, saying he wanted the platform to remain a place for free speech after company executives were censoring those they disagreed with, The New York Times reported in October 2022.
"Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it," he said in a statement to the Times in April.
Following his purchase, Musk almost immediately laid off around half of the company's 7,500 workforce, and has continued to cut employees to make the company profitable, and less dependent on advertisers for revenue, Forbes reported in January.
Business Insider reported Tuesday that Musk's new "Twitter Blue" subscription service only had around 300,000 subscribers, compared to the millions that regularly use the social media platform.
"It's now trivial to spin up 100k human-like bots for less than a penny per account," Musk told Insider. "Paid account social media will be the only social media that matters."
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