Discover more from Culture Vault Newsletter
The Future of Twitter...
Unless you've been living under an (ether) rock, you will have heard the news that Elon Musk has made a bid to acquire Twitter for $44 billion - and that he’s subsequently tried to withdraw this bid. So what does this actually mean for the future of Twitter and its users? What can we expect if one of the biggest influencers in the crypto space owns the platform where a great deal of the world’s crypto discussion happens? We’ve waded through all the chatter to find out, and taken a look at some of the changes happening that we’re actually excited about.
Twitter v Musk
Initially when Elon made the surprising announcement that he intended to buy Twitter, he cited his goals to reinstate an ethos of free speech, stimulate the company’s growth, and eliminate spam and bot accounts. This last point in particular has become the main bone of contention between the two entities: Twitter claims that only 5% of its active accounts are bots; Elon vehemently disputes this, and asked for evidence to prove this figure’s accuracy. It’s part of the reason he’s now tried to back out of the deal, claiming that Twitter disclosed “false and misleading” information about the number of fake accounts. The social media company has filed a lawsuit in response, which, if awarded, would essentially force Elon to go through with the deal. At the very least, he will be liable to pay a $1 billion break fee to walk away from the acquisition, as stipulated in the contract.
So What if the Deal Does Go Through?
Musk has said he would look to decensor accounts like that of former US President Donald Trump, taking an “absolutist” view of free speech. The tech billionaire posted back in April 2022 that “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
In terms of crypto and NFTs, there are some very interesting functions that Twitter has already and is planning to roll out, some of which Musk himself has alluded to. At a June 16th Twitter meeting, Musk said, “It would make sense to integrate (crypto) payments into Twitter so it's easy to send money back and forth." This would allow artists (and others) to gather financial support from their fans and collectors more easily, with the freedom and decentralized nature of cryptocurrency payments. Could it also mean the possibility of NFT sales directly via Twitter?
Speaking of NFTs, in January this year Twitter launched a feature that allows subscribers of their paid Twitter Blue service to link their ether wallet to their Twitter account, and this feature will soon be rolled out to all users. Once the wallet is linked, any NFTs stored in that wallet can be verified by Twitter and then displayed as a PFP (profile picture), defined by a unique hexagonal border. Not only is this an exciting step forward for one of the biggest social media platforms (and they’ve since been followed by Meta), but it’s a big step forward for the NFT space as well. It means mainstream adoption and better understanding of what NFTs are, how they can be used, and why they matter. Although Twitter users have been displaying NFTs as their profile pictures for some time now, this feature actually captures the authenticity and ownership that NFTs are fundamentally all about. Users can’t just display any NFT they like - they have to actually own it. This adds value to the image, which is often a unique artwork by a digital artist, and in turn that artist gains more exposure. More visibility and adoption of NFTs encourages other creators and collectors to enter the space too, so it’s a yes from us!
And there’s more work going on behind the scenes to integrate NFTs with Twitter that we can’t wait to see. The developers are working on a new ‘Collectible’ tab, where users would be able to display the NFTs they own for their followers to see. This is something that we’re super excited about, because a feature like this would give creators and collectors alike the ability to curate and display their NFTs all in one place, beyond their profile picture.
3: The Future of Twitter…
Although these are only small steps towards full integration, Twitter’s adoption of cryptocurrency and NFTs are a pretty clear signal that the company is committed to helping digital artists and creators share their unique artwork with the world as NFTs. Despite the negative attention that the deal with Elon has elicited and the subsequent fall in Twitter’s share price, the steps being taken by Twitter towards becoming a Web3 compatible platform are positive ones. And whether or not Elon does take over the reins, we can only hope that this integration will continue in leaps and bounds.
Thanks for reading Culture Vault Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive weekly posts and all our exciting updates.