Sep 23, 2021
Twitter adds Bitcoin tipping, pushes further into NFTs
VC Investor Carnegie Is Backing Play-to-Earn Crypto Market
Twitter Inc. will let users send and receive tips using Bitcoin as part of a broader push to help users make money from the service.
Twitter also said Thursday that it’s looking into authenticating users’ nonfungible tokens -- digital goods ranging from high art to pictures of digital apes. Some users already showcase NFTs on their profiles, but there’s no easy way to authenticate if the person displaying a picture actually owns it.
“There’s this growing interest among creators to use apps that run on the blockchain,” said Esther Crawford, a product executive building Twitter’s creator features. “We want to help creators participate in the promise of an evolving decentralized internet directly on Twitter.”
The updates are part of a strategy at Twitter to court creators by giving them more ways to share their work on the service, and more ways to make money. Twitter has offered a tipping feature for months, but it has been in a limited test. On Thursday, the company said it’s rolling out tipping globally. The company also offers some creators a subscription tool, called Super Follows, which lets them charge others on the service for exclusive content.
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is a major Bitcoin enthusiast, often tweeting about the cryptocurrency and promoting it to his followers. He has said it could be the internet’s first “native currency.” He’s also a big believer in decentralization -- or taking control away from one single group or company and spreading it out among many people. Twitter has also funded a project called Bluesky, which is looking into building decentralized features for social media.
Nonfungible tokens are a key part of that decentralized version of the internet, and have exploded in popularity and price this year. Daily NFT sales peaked on Aug. 28 at US$267.6 million, according to tracker NonFungible. Many NFTs have sold for millions of dollars, and Twitter has created some NFTs of its own and given them away to users.
“We recognize it is still early days for digital currencies, but we think that that’s the future,” Crawford said.