IndustryNov 3, 2022
Chain Insights- How Elon Musk Plans to Introduce Web3 Elements on Twitter
After months of intense negotiations, Elon Musk officially took over the world’s most influential social media platform, with a price tag of $44 billion. Musk, undoubtedly one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of his time, intends on entering a new era with Twitter. While he has only been the official CEO since October 28, there has been a slew of speculations of what is in store for the future of Twitter. Despite the ongoing discussions, there is one community that wholeheartedly supports Elon Musk’s takeover: Crypto Twitter.
The crypto community has been very vocal about supporting Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase, and his plans to clean up spam accounts that have been infesting the platform. Another promise Musk has made upon his takeover is preserving the platform for free speech.
In a recent post, Musk revealed that he purchased Twitter because he wanted the "future civilization to have a common digital town square". He is aware that this new business acquisition will not be an easy mission. Musk has a genuine concern for mankind, and his existing companies (SpaceX and Tesla) reflect this. Musk writes “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences! In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experiences, according to your preferences.”
The crypto space, who believes that everyone should have a place to openly share views without being expelled from the platform or shadow banned, is eager to see what changes are in store for the platform. After all, blockchain technology enables decentralization, which gives users autonomy over their thoughts and ideas online. A core belief for decentralized platforms is that there should be no single entity in charge of how it should be managed. While Elon Musk may be the sole executive in charge of Twitter, he is actively engaging with the platform’s users and posting polls each day for feedback.
In order to make Twitter a level playing field for all sides, Musk wrote in a thread “Twitter will not allow anyone who was de-platformed for violating Twitter rules back on platform until we have a clear process for doing so, which will take at least a few more weeks”, Musk stresses that there will be a “content moderation council” that will work towards fighting against ‘hate-fueled violence’ and the use of racial and derogatory terms on the app.
“Anything That Can Reduce the Bots”
Eager to maintain free speech on the platform, Binance CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao invested $500 million into the Twitter acquisition deal to help Elon Musk “realize a new vision for Twitter.” Zhao said in a statement, “We aim to play a role in bringing social media and Web3 together in order to broaden the use and adoption of crypto and blockchain technology”.
Given that Elon Musk is a believer of cryptocurrency himself, the backing from the richest person in the industry may give Crypto Twitter an opportunity to use the app for more than just memes and candle-stick charts. Earlier this year, Musk started accepting Dogecoin as a form of payment for Tesla, and even teased the idea of accepting Dogecoin for the ‘Twitter Blue’ subscription before he took over the company. Zhao also suggested that charging for memberships “can be done very easily, globally, using cryptocurrencies.” For the time being, Musk is making an effort to tackle the spam bot issue that has plagued Crypto Twitter and the platform as a whole.
This week, Musk proposed an $8 monthly subscription for ‘Twitter Blue’ which would allow regular users to obtain a verified blue check next to their Twitter handles without paying thousands of dollars. Twitter Blue will grant users priority placement in replies and searches, exposure to less ads, post longer video/audio clips, and even reward content creators with a revenue stream from bypassing paywalls. By giving subscribed users priority in replies and searches, Musk hopes that this subscription will fight against bots spamming the site. During the Web Summit in Lisbon, Zhao backed the Twitter Blue subscription, and said “We think that’s a great idea. Anything that can reduce the bots”.
The Race to Web3
Twitter isn’t the only Web2 giant making strides into the Web3 space. Reddit, Meta, and Instagram have made initiatives into the NFT realm, and have had various levels of success. Reddit launched an NFT marketplace that became one of the largest NFT marketplaces overnight, onboarding more users than OpenSea. Meta (formally known as Facebook), just announced that Instagram will be compatible with the Polygon blockchain, and will allow creators to create their own digital collectables and sell them directly to fans. This feature allows creators to have ownership over their content, and mint and sell their non-fungible tokens on and off Instagram.
Twitter was one of the first platforms to introduce NFT integrations, with the ability for users to connect their encrypted wallets to their Twitter accounts to verify NFT ownership. NFTs purchased on the Ethereum blockchain would trigger a hexagonal profile picture on Twitter, signifying the user’s ownership of the NFT. Last week, @TwitterDev revealed that the platform will be testing “NFT Tweet Tiles”, which will show links to NFTs from a selection of marketplaces, and include details of the NFT artwork, such as the title and creator.
Before he was named CEO, Elon Musk had been exploring different solutions to make Twitter a more valuable and inclusive platform for millions of users. Only time will reveal which direction the platform is headed, and many members of the crypto community are eager to see what the future has in store. As usual, the first and last place to read current events is on Twitter.
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