“We’re all on social media commenting and posting, but many creators are not seeing the value from it. Meanwhile all these companies are out there making money,” said Hejazi, who co-founded Cent in 2017, about how Twitter generates revenue from ad sales. “So we wanted to find a way to monetize that.”
Experts say this trend will likely continue. For the young and wealthy, tweets and other digital media are like 21st century paintings.
“When people have more disposable income, they may buy art or trading cards,” said Trevor Levine, member of the fintech group with law firm Reed Smith. “More of our lives are moving into the digital space so this is a natural extension of that.”
Big bucks for tweets and digital art
Collectors have genuine interest in owning NFTs of tweets with digitally signed authentication and other additional content, Hejazi said. That creates scarcity that makes them more desirable to collectors — and more valuable.
“It’s important for buyers to know what they are buying,” Levine added, noting that fraud may be less of an issue than it is for physical art. “Your token verifies you have the authentic digital copy.”
Is selling NFTs for other social media firms the next big thing?
Despite naysayers who are flummoxed by sales such as Beeple’s, there is a clear appetite for owning digital content.
Hejazi conceded that prices will likely cool once the novelty of selling tweets and other art via NFTs starts to wear off.
“There is no question that it is a bubble. It’s in part driven by the personalities creating it and the fact that it is all so new,” he said. “The market for collectibles often goes through typical boom and bust cycles.”
Still, Hejazi thinks digital collectibles sales are here to stay.
“In the NFT world, you own something that unlocks an experience,” he said. “Digital assets are being redefined as we know it with NFTs.”
But if tweet auctions become more popular, it’s likely that creators on other platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Reddit may look to monetize their digital content too.