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### Exclusive Access for U.S. Premium+ Members: Introducing Grok, X’s Advanced AI Bot

Yesterday, X began rolling out Grok, the “rebellious” AI chatbot developed by Elon Musk…

Yesterday, X initiated the deployment of Grok, the “rebellious” AI chatbot created by Elon Musk’s xAI startup, to Premium+ subscribers on X’s platform. Musk has now announced that the rollout of Grok to all U.S. Premium+ subscribers has been finalized. However, he cautioned that the beta version may encounter numerous issues initially, but assured continuous enhancements. Musk also outlined a timeline for expanding Grok’s availability to other markets beyond the U.S., stating that all English language users subscribed to Premium+ would have access to Grok in approximately a week.

Subsequently, Japanese users, constituting X’s second-largest user base, are slated to follow suit, with the goal of introducing Grok to all languages by early 2024, as indicated by the X owner.

Musk’s projected timelines for these developments do not always align with reality, as evidenced by delays experienced by longtime Tesla followers awaiting full self-driving (FSD). Nevertheless, with Grok, Musk has only slightly deviated from his projected launch estimates. For instance, on November 22nd, Musk mentioned that xAI’s Grok would be launched to Premium+ subscribers “next week,” originally intended for the week of November 3 to December 5. However, the chatbot was eventually launched this week, on December 7.

The efficacy of the chatbot in driving subscription revenue for X remains uncertain. Currently, Grok is exclusively available as part of X’s top-tier subscription package, Premium+, priced at \(16 per month. This rate significantly exceeds the costs of X’s Basic (\)3/mo) and Premium ($8/mo) options, potentially deterring casual AI enthusiasts who have access to free alternatives like ChatGPT or Google’s Bard.

The Premium+ subscription offers additional features to enhance its appeal, including an ad-free experience in the For You and Following timelines on X. Premium+ users also receive the highest reply visibility, along with all features included in the Premium tier, such as ads revenue sharing for creators, ID verification, a verified checkmark, access to Media Studio, and more.

Despite this, advertising continues to be the primary revenue source for X, formerly known as Twitter. The future of X’s ad-supported model is uncertain, especially with Musk’s confrontational stance towards advertisers who have raised concerns about antisemitic content on the platform. To ensure sustainability, X may need a substantial increase in Premium+ subscribers, leveraging Grok to offset the decline in ad revenue resulting from major brands like Apple, Disney, IBM, Paramount, and Walmart withdrawing from the platform.

Notably, X achieved its highest-ever monthly subscription revenue in November, generating \(6.2 million in net revenue after accounting for app store fees, according to estimates from app intelligence provider Apptopia. However, this amount is still less than a third of the in-app subscription revenue earned by Snapchat, which exceeded \)20 million for the first time last month.

In essence, X, with over 500 million monthly active users, has significant potential to expand its subscriber base. The challenge lies in actualizing this growth, a task that remains uncertain.

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Last modified: February 6, 2024
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