Twitter X
X changed its terms of service to allow users to post adult content. Twitter / WBTW News13 @WBTWNews13

In a recent update, X (formerly known as Twitter) modified its service terms to now permit adult content. Before this update, the Elon Musk-owned platform existed in a grey area regarding adult content. Uploads weren't explicitly banned, but no official guidelines permitted them as well.

Now the new terms of service allow X users to post consensually-made NSFW content freely. "We believe in the autonomy of adults to engage with and create content that reflects their own beliefs, desires, and experiences, including those related to sexuality," X's updated guidelines state.

Twitter X
Twitter (now X) updates its policy to allow users to post consensually-made adult content. Twitter / Safety @Safety

While X's non-consensual nudity policy now allows both pornography and consensual adult content, users sharing such material will still need to mark it as "sensitive."

Elon Musk's Subscription Plan for X

This labelling system ensures viewers who prefer to avoid adult content will encounter a warning they must acknowledge before seeing the media. The new content guidelines encompass AI-generated nudity as well.

X never formally permitted adult content, but its presence rose following the launch of the Twitter Blue subscription program. X's new premium tier, mirroring the subscription model of OnlyFans, allowed adult content creators like sex workers and porn actors to monetise their work through subscriber-only content.

The platform's rule change suggests a shift towards the OnlyFans model, fostering a more commercial environment where adult content creators can build stronger financial ties with their subscribing audience.

While best known for adult content, OnlyFans has been actively rebranding itself as a platform fostering deeper connections between creators and paying subscribers, regardless of the content type. This shift coincides with reports suggesting the adult industry might be exploring the replacement of real performers with AI-generated stars.

Musk's acquisition of X in October 2022 was accompanied by his goal of diversifying revenue through subscriptions. This vision drove the launch of Twitter Blue, the precursor to X Premium, which marked a shift towards an adult content-friendly version of X.

However, the plan did not materialise since the platform's content moderation teams were unable to screen for illegal sexually explicit content, including child sexual assault material, The Verge reported. Nevertheless, a report indicated that the platform's new moderation office in Austin, Texas, will focus on tackling content depicting this problem.

Target of $10 Billion Revenue by 2028

Currently, ads make up a whopping 90 percent of X's income. Musk aims to slash that dependence to just 45 percent by 2028. The X owner proposes a major push for X's subscription service, likely X Blue, to achieve this. This would mean more users paying for a premium experience, reducing reliance on advertiser dollars.

That would mean subscription revenue would rise to $10 billion annually by that date. This would double Twitter's total revenue of $5 billion in its last year as a public company before Musk took it private.

However, achieving Musk's ambitious goals is an uphill battle. Early reports paint a concerning picture. In the first year under Musk, X lost 15 percent of its monthly users and 54 percent of advertising revenue. This decline continues, with user numbers dropping another 24 percent year-over-year by February 2024.

Some have pointed to Musk's own actions as a factor contributing to the user and advertiser exodus. His behaviour may be seen as off-putting by both groups. Further complicating matters, X must grapple with a decline in user experience. A rise in bots, particularly those promoting inappropriate content, has alienated users and potentially deterred advertisers seeking a brand-safe environment.