Talk is Cheap
Tweets can now be cashed in for more than just social currency
Life / 15 Oct 2012
Occupy Wall Street’s approaching one-year anniversary spurred renewed debate about its ultimate impact. While some found it more effective than others, one of the results may be the upsurge of innovative alternatives to traditional ideas about money. For example, an examination of monetary systems has inspired new forms of currency, including the rising acceptance — by both individuals and brands — of social currency in the form of tweets.
Kellogg’s Tweet Shop:
Kellogg’s London promotion for its Special K Cracker Crisps, the Tweet Shop was a 4-day pop-up shop that accepted tweets as payment for snack samples. “Shoppers” were asked to post a review containing the hashtag “#tweetshop.” Once their messages appeared on the store’s LCD screen, customers received a box of the chips. Proving that plenty of people are willing to sell themselves out, the stunt garnered significant participation, with tweets like “Forget Trident Layers, I want to be paid exclusively in Cracker Crisps” and “At the #tweetshop – getting my crisps. For free. In exchange for a tweet. Must be the future.”
BEV Vending Machine:
South African beverage company BOS Ice Tea has developed a Twitter-activated vending machine, called BEV, that dispenses a free can of its Rooibos drink when a customer stands in front of it and tweets with the hashtag “#BOSTWEET4T.” An overhead LED screen shows the person’s Twitter handle and a countdown until the "free" can emerges. When the drink is delivered, colored lights blink while a speaker amplifies a robotic voice telling the person to enjoy their beverage. Rigged with a series of microphones and cameras, the conversational machine delivers a series of playful messages for passersby, saying things like “You look thirsty, human. Let me help you.”
PunkMoney, a twist on peer-to-peer sharing economies, is a platform on which tweeted promises are currency. For example, someone could tweet "@Alice I promise to mow your lawn next week. #PunkMoney @Bob,” after which the vow will appear on the site’s ticker to be redeemed at a later date or transferred to another person. The “#PunkMoney” hashtag identifies and tracks what happens to each promise over time. Creator Eli Gothill, who was partly inspired by OWS grievances, designed the system to be “entirely trust-based, and between peers, so it encourages community. The only way that this money has value is if people trust each other.”
©The Intelligence Group