And yes, there's crypto.
It's actually happening, y'all — Elon Musk is, per insiders, really trying to turn Twitter into something akin to Venmo, and plans on building it out to take cryptocurrency to boot.
According to in-the-know sources who spoke with the Financial Times, Twitter has started applying for the regulatory licenses it'd need to actually launch a payment system, and is also working on the software as well.
Two anonymous sources told the FT that rising Musk lieutenant Esther Crawford is in the process of planning a Twitter payments structure, replete with a small team dedicated to the task. As the report notes, this push seems to be part of the controversial new owner's vision for Twitter as an "everything app" reminiscent of his background as an OG member of the PayPal mafia.
As the report notes, Twitter had already set up a "Twitter Payments LLC" in August prior to Musk's takeover, and soon after he took the reins, he began talks with the social network's investors about raising money for the venture, which would include going on a "hiring spree" to appoint talent to the effort, one of those investors told the FT.
To be clear, the concept of social networks hosting in-app payments is nothing new, as anyone who's made questionable late-night purchases on Instagram or TikTok can attest. What's novel here is the concept of doing so on Twitter, which until now has resisted the e-commerce mania that's swept the rest of the social media industry.
Beyond the questionable rationale behind incorporating payments into the increasingly-broken bird app is Musk's apparent interest in not just having fiat currency as one of the means of Twitter payments, but getting crypto in the mix as well. A year ago, that would have made some sense, but given the crypto industry's repeated nosedives and, you know, the state of Twitter, that seems a lot like adding kerosene to a dumpster fire.
As we saw with Musk's bizarre and ever-evolving "Twitter Blue" verification gambit, he seems to be making good on his word when it comes to the social network he now owns, so it seems that Twitter Payments could become a reality soon enough.
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