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What does it mean to ‘sell a tweet’?

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Mar 09, 2021 5:31 am

‘just setting up my twttr’

An online auction of the highest order is happening right now, with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey selling the rights to the first-ever Tweet.

Dated March 22, 2006, the tweet comes from the CEO himself introducing the site and his try at posting a tweet. 15 years later, it’s now worth $2.5M and counting.

But what does that even mean?

While we’ve come to associate auctions with owning tangible things, selling Internet property is on somewhat different grounds.

With the act of selling his tweet, Dorsey is actually selling it as a non-fungible token, or NFT.  NFTs are files that act as signatures to certify who owns certain online media. 

Online, the tweet will be preserved as-is, but its legal ownership will become an investment kept safe by blockchain technology. NFTs aren’t exchangeable—thus the value would likely remain the same or likely higher in the years to come. Think collectible Pokemon cards and heirloom, but in the digital realm.

According to tweet marketplace Valuables By Cent, “owning any digital content can be a financial investment, hold sentimental value, and create a relationship between collector and creator.” 

“Like an autograph on a baseball card, the NFT itself is the creator’s autograph on the content, making it scarce, unique, and valuable.”

Valuable By Cent furthers that tweet buyers will receive a “digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator.” 

The auction winner will also get the metadata of the original tweet with info such as  “when the tweet was posted, what the text contents are of the tweet, the timestamp of the tweet, and the digital signature from the creator’s crypto wallet address.”

Meanwhile, Valuables By Cent also offers a collection of other tweets for sale - with the open digital auction regularly updated on their site.

Screenshot from Valuables By Cent

Photo from Joshua Hoehne via Unsplash.