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Elon Musk Grants Access to AI Chatbot Grok for Successful Premium X Subscribers this week

Elon Musk, the owner of xAI, announced on Tuesday that the company formerly known as Twitter will soon make the Grok chatbot available to additional paying members, in response to the company’s decision earlier in March to make its Grok big language model open source. Musk said in a post on X that Grok will now be accessible to all Premium users this week, not only those on the more expensive Premium+ plan.

The change may indicate an intention to take on more direct competition from other well-known chatbots, such as Claude from Anthropic or ChatGPT from OpenAI. However, it can also mean that X is attempting to increase its subscriber base. The news comes at a time when research shows that the X platform is struggling to keep its user base and that fewer people are utilizing it. X usage in the United States was down 23% since Musk’s acquisition and down 18% year over year as of February, according to new data from Sensor Tower that was revealed by NBC News.

Sensor Tower discovered that 75 out of the top 100 U.S. advertisers on X as of October 2022 no longer spent ad budgets on the platform, suggesting that Musk’s battle with advertisers may have also affected the company’s income prospects.

Providing X users with access to an AI chatbot may deter them from switching to other platforms, such as Instagram’s Threads or the decentralized platforms Mastodon and Bluesky, which grew quickly to reach over 130 million monthly users as of the fourth quarter of 2023 thanks to Meta’s resources.

Musk just stated that Grok “would be enabled” for all Premium subscribers “later this week,” without specifying when it would be made available to X users.

The company’s mid-tier subscription, X Premium, costs $8 a month (via the internet) or $84 annually. Grok was previously exclusively available to Premium+ members, costing a substantial $168 annually or $16 per month.

Given that it can answer queries regarding subjects that other AI chatbots usually avoid, such as conspiracies or more divisive political concepts, Grok’s chatbot would be of interest to Musk’s supporters and avid X users. It will also respond to inquiries with what Musk has called “a rebellious streak.” Most importantly, compared to competitors, Grok has access to real-time X data.

Naturally, if X is losing users, the value of that data under Musk’s control might be declining.

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