You don't have to be a Twitter/X user to have noticed how bizarre things have gotten for the website ever since Elon Musk took control. From removing the blue checkmark from verified accounts to rebranding the site as "X" (probably the worst name for any website in history), Musk almost seems like he wants to sabotage the site as opposed to grow it.

This week, Musk doubled down and announced that he was considering charging all users of Twitter/X in order to keep the site afloat. I don't think it takes a tech/social media expert to see that as a terrible idea. Charging users for a site/service that has been free for more than 15 years seems like a recipe for Twitter/X to end up like Myspace in record time. Those behind Meta's Threads app have to be ecstatic.

Researchers for the website Bonus Finder looked at all 50 states to see how many people would be on board with paying to use Twitter/X. As it turns out, Iowans were the most cantankerous when it came to the very thought that they could be charged for the website that was always free.

Before we get to that, let's look at some of the key findings from Bonus Finder's research:

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  • Nearly two in five (38.2%) of Americans would stop using X if they had to pay for it
  • The platform could lose up to two-thirds of its users in Midwestern and Southern states, with Iowa (66.7%) topping the rankings of respondents least likely to pay
  • More than 60 percent of respondents from Mississippi, Ohio and Kentucky also said that they would not be willing to pay
  • The research also found that there are huge differences between states on how much they would spend to use social media.

Bonus Finder surveyed over 3,000 US respondents about their social media use and how much it would continue if Twitter suddenly charged them to use it.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

A whopping 66.7% of Iowans surveyed said they wouldn't pay a cent for Twitter under any circumstances. The Hawkeye State takes a commanding lead in front of Mississippi and Ohio, who were second and third respectively in terms of being states with residents who also claimed they wouldn't pay for the service:

When it comes to generational differences, a majority of Gen Z (83.6%) and Millennials (85.5%) would be willing to pay for social media.


However, introducing a subscription fee could see the older generations move away from the platform with nearly half (48.1%) of Gen X saying they wouldn’t pay for it. The percentage is even higher among the two oldest generations with more than two in three (67.5%) unwilling to pay. 

Photo Credit: Stockfoo, Digital Team
Photo Credit: Stockfoo, Digital Team

Fintan Costello, Managing Director of, assessed the data by saying that affordability plays a huge role when it comes to people's social media use:

The findings of our study highlight the significant role affordability plays when it comes to using social media. The fact that nearly two in five Americans would consider discontinuing their use if required to pay is a clear indicator of the value users place on cost-free access.


The stakes are especially high in the Midwestern and Southern states, where up to two-thirds of users could be at risk of discontinuation.

Put me in the camp of 66.7% of Iowans who would begrudgingly say goodbye to Twitter if they started charging me.

Photos: River Museum's POPnology Exhibit

Photos: River Museum's POPnology Exhibit

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