Twitter will now allow its users to be paid with bitcoin. The platform, which already allows users to receive tips, announced on Thursday that users can be tipped with the popular cryptocurrency.
The company also said it will launch a fund to pay some users who host audio chat rooms on its Spaces feature, which enables users to livestream seminars and interviews to an interactive audience.
The announcements are a part of Twitter’s effort to compete with Facebook and YouTube for popular content creators with massive followings, and reshape its image as a platform where polarized conversations, usually taking the form of trolling, have become the norm.
"We believe we can continue to incentivize the types of conversations that people want to see," said Esther Crawford, product lead for creator monetization at Twitter, Reuters reported.
In addition to bitcoin integration, Twitter said it plans to support authentication for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are unique digital assets like images, music, and videos that exist on a blockchain. The feature will let users showcase their ownership of the digital art on Twitter.
The Tips feature will roll out globally to all Apple iOS users this week and will be available for Android users in the near future. The integration of bitcoin into Twitter is not too surprising, as company CEO Jack Dorsey has been one of its most vocal proponents.
Twitter introduced tipping as a test feature in May to experiment with helping creators earn payments from their followers for the content they put out on the platform. Through the experimental system, users could tip with fiat currency using more traditional payment methods like Square’s Cash App and PayPal’s Venmo. Twitter will now be integrating the Strike bitcoin wallet service for creators to receive bitcoin. The company will also enable users to add a bitcoin address to send and receive tips.
According to Twitter, the company will not take any cut of the money sent through Tips.
In the months ahead of Twitter’s bitcoin integration, Dorsey remarked that he was trying his hand at bitcoin mining. He also expressed his belief that there are few things more important to work on than bitcoin, adding his hope that the decentralized cryptocurrency would bring about world peace, CNBC reported.
“Bitcoin changes absolutely everything,” Dorsey said at the Bitcoin 2021 Conference. “I don’t think there is anything more important in my lifetime to work on.”
“if I were not at Square or Twitter, I would be working on bitcoin. If [bitcoin] needed more help than Square or Twitter, I would leave them for bitcoin,” he said. “But, I believe both companies have a role to play.”
Dorsey announced at the event that he has since partnered up with Jay-Z to create a multimillion-dollar fund to further the development of bitcoin in Africa and India.
“I don’t think there is anything more enabling for people around the world,” Dorsey said.