X is making live streaming a premium feature

The company will charge for a feature that's free on every other major platform.


X will soon be moving the ability to live stream behind its premium paywall, the company announced. The change will make X the only major social platform to charge for the feature, which is currently free on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch and TikTok.

“Starting soon, only Premium subscribers will be able to livestream (create live video streams) on X,” the company said. “This includes going live from an encoder with X integration,” an apparent reference to X’s game streaming capabilities.

X didn’t offer an explanation for the change. The company has used additional features, like post editing, longform writing, and ad-free feeds to lure users to its paid subscriptions, but hasn’t typically moved existing, widely available, features behind its paywall. X Premium subscriptions start at $3/month for the "basic" tier, and rise to $8/month for Premium and $16/month for Premium+.

There are, however, other signs that the Elon Musk-owned platform wants to charge for other simple features. The company introduced a $1 annual charge for new accounts to have posting privileges in New Zealand and the Philippines. Though the company still describes the scheme as a test, Musk has suggested he wants to expand the fees to all new users.