Why are social media companies nuts for NFTs?

    Newer ways

    Twitter debuted its first crypto-related feature, NFT profile videos, last week. It now allows some users can use a hexagonal profile image as a non-fungible token-backed digital painting they own as a hexagonal profile image that, when clicked, allows others to learn more about the artwork. You might wonder why someone would want to do this. Think about it as a digital kind of bling.

    Reddit followed suit a few days later with a similar feature. YouTube and Instagram have also stated that they are looking into NFTs. According to a recent Financial Times investigation, Facebook could possibly be building a whole NFT market.

    More NFT markets?

    But why is that? After all, NFTs are bought and sold on specialized marketplaces like OpenSea, Decentraland, and SuperRare, rather than on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

    But how do they go about acquiring value in the first place? NFTs are largely utilized for authenticating digital artwork, despite the fact that they are still in their infancy, and being able to show off artwork is an important part of buying it. Social media, with its highly tuned algorithms for virality, is ideal for this.

    Jack Dorsey’s tweet (or NFT)

    The very first tweet ever sent out—by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey—is a classic example. It was sold for a plainly insane $2.9 million last year after being linked to an NFT.

    Despite a bidding war between internet tycoon Justin Sun and Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi over the NFT of Dorsey’s tweet, Estavi’s bid of nearly $2.9 million finally won, according to the site. Estavi also placed a $1.1 million bid for the NFT of Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, which was also featured on “Valuables.”

    The tweet will “continue to live on Twitter,” according to “Valuables,” but the winning bidder will possess the NFT, which will be “signed and authenticated by the creator,” similar to a virtual autograph. “Valuables” also needs users to log in with their Twitter account in order to authenticate that the tweets being sold are those of their real creators.

    Dorsey announced in March that all revenues from his NFT sale would be turned to bitcoin and donated to GiveDirectly, an organization that provides cash to low-income people. Dorsey’s donation will go toward the Africa Covid-19 response.

    NFT markets need celebrities?

    Another feature of social media platforms that NFT markets lack are celebrities with large followings. On January 25, One Direction’s Liam Payne notified his 34.7 million followers on Twitter that he’d created an alternative Twitter persona called @PaynoEth to express his passion for NFTs. In just half an hour, the new account garnered 26,000 new followers.

    Payne’s comments

    “WELCOME! For me, this is the beginning of something new, which is always exciting… It’s my new @doodles artwork that I acquired last week, for anyone curious about my new profile photo! Isn’t it amazing?!” Payne used an alias to write.

    Although NFTs and the virtual art they represent aren’t generated, purchased, or sold on social media sites, the fundamentally communal nature of art implies that they would be significantly less useful if they weren’t. These networks, which have been obliviously crafting the future of NFTs, are now attempting to participate.

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