Musk, who bought the profitable Twitter site and turned it into an X-rated money pit, has decided to test his plan to charge people for each post. He is doing this in New Zealand and the Philippines, assuming that the markets there are so small no one will care. In the case of New Zealanders, they probably will not want to moan much, either.
Musk said in a statement that its new subscription method should "bolster" existing efforts to reduce spam and "manipulation of our platform and bot activity" and has nothing to do with massaging his ample bottom line.
Under the trial, new web users in the Philippines and New Zealand will have to pay X, around $0.75 and $0.85 yearly, to access basic functionality like posting on the site.
The company said 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.
"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, nor will customers who do not exist.
Musk has made several controversial changes to the social media firm's management and product since he acquired Twitter last year for $44 billion.
He recently floated the idea of charging all users a nominal fee to use the site to tackle fake accounts—drawing sharp criticism from users worldwide.