What’s the Deal with NFT profile pics on Twitter?
WTF even IS an NFT?
If you feel like NFTs popped out of nowhere and have infiltrated everything within the last 2 years. If you want an explanation broken down simply:
NFTs are anything at all, where ownership of a crypto token can be secured by the blockchain. NF means “non-fungible” and T means “token”. Non-fungible refers to the fact that any particular NFT is uniquely the only one of its kind.
While NFTs can be used to help set digital ownership of any digital code — you will notice that lots of people have used them for a very specific and prevalent use case: profile pics and avatars. After the initial success of Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, many many groups decided to try and create sets of NFTs. For example, with Lazy Lions — every NFT in the set is in the same style and aesthetic — but each individual lion is its own thing.
If you have that specific Lazy Lion with blue hair, money eyes, and a tongue sticking out — well, the blockchain will confirm that that’s YOUR NFT, and not anyone else’s.
But why is it everyone’s profile picture on Twitter?
With Twitter’s new NFT profile pic feature, users will be able to display their non-fungible tokens as their profile pictures! For now, this feature is only available to users who subscribe to Twitter Blue.
Other than that, it’s a great way to promote your NFTs too.
Let’s take a look at why it’s a big deal for NFT fanatics
Technically you could make NFTs your profile pictures before — but this time you can verify it with the blockchain that you own it and Twitter will reward you with that sweet little hexagon around it.
The hexagon is a visual indicator that quickly shows the viewer’s eye (without having to read any text or fine print) that your profile is indeed an NFT and not a fake. Of course, because JPGs are easy to copy, many people had been simply copy-pasting other people’s NFT art files and posting them as their profile pic. This tactic tacitly misrepresents to the viewer that the Twitter account might be a financial holder of an NFT (when they are actually not a legitimate owner).
Hexagons solve this.
It shows people how NFTs and blockchain technology can work
While Twitter is pro-crypto (its former longtime CEO, Jack Dorsey was a big fan), this new profile pic feature is a great way to show how NFTs work. Screenshotting and displaying an NFT is different from owning one. And this new Twitter feature makes that very clear.
Twitter doesn’t send a manual auditor to go and interview every person with an NFT for authenticity. Everyone with an NFT they’d like to use as a profile pic can simply sign right in and do it automatically. That’s the magic of blockchain technology.
Twitter NFT Profile Pics are a community-building accelerator
This one feature will eventually lead to more features to be built around NFTs. It doesn’t seem too far off in the future when Twitter will start monetizing groups of NFT creators and this is great!
For the longest time, the lack of NFT features on Twitter has pushed creators onto other platforms like Telegram and Discord and these spaces have gotten crowded.
Twitter is still one of the best platforms to grow on—not only is it something you can grow quickly, but your audience on Twitter accrues and compounds in value.
Think about it like YouTube back in 2013, monetization was new to that platform, and creators were quickly earning and gaining a lot of popularity. The same dynamic is at play with Twitter now, monetization is fairly new and creators are finally earning from their hard work! So, why would anyone want to leave anyway?
How to set up the profile picture and Twitter’s limitations
- Control the address that holds your NFT that you’d like as your profile picture
- Connect your crypto wallet to Twitter
- You will receive verification from Twitter to your wallet address and you’ll be asked to complete a signing request
Just remember, you can only connect one wallet at a time, which had a lot of backlash at the beginning but you can’t win them all!
Limitations and disclaimer set by Twitter
- Twitter won’t request funds from your crypto wallet. You have to stay vigilant and check your requests.
- Signing requests should always come from the domain Twitter.com
- Twitter will never ask you to send funds when connecting to a crypto wallet
- Even though there is no ongoing connection between Twitter and your crypto wallet, they will still store your data to ensure it holds the NFT.
Selling your NFT
- As soon as you sell your NFT, your profile picture will go from a hexagon to a circle (but it will remain the same art).
- It also won’t display any information about the NFT since you don’t own it anymore.
How did Twitter users react to it?
It’s safe to say the reaction wasn’t 100% positive.
A trend of “auto-blocking hexagon profile pictures” started pretty quickly.
It went as far as people calling it a pyramid scheme and overall everyone had a great laugh.
Other than that, trolls started popping up everywhere with hexagonal templates as profile pictures and stealing the NFT logos of a lot of creators.
Regardless of the backlash
Multiple Reddit pages are talking about these current changes and whispers about Reddit doing the same thing but that isn’t official yet.
So, one might wonder, was this such a huge fail for Twitter?
Introducing something new to the system is a gateway for criticism, no matter how well thought out the plan is. It starts with criticism and eventually ends up with a bandwagon of people (or in this case, platforms) following.
While this new feature received backlash from NFT advocates, well-published creators, verified creators, and Elon Musk himself, it did not stop other platforms from pursuing the same actions.
NFTs are relatively new to the equation. They haven’t been viral long enough and a lot of people haven’t fully understood the concept of owning an NFT. This is why the new Twitter feature was such a joke to a lot of people. Eventually, this will be praised since it has shown effectiveness in the past few weeks with NFT advocates. We are hoping Twitter comes up with more features to help NFTs take off!
Just a final thought. Will NFTs live through the next 10 years? Or will they just pass by as a trend? The market is not as hot right now… but will there be a recovery?
If you have an NFT profile pic all set up and want to grow your audience, check out tools from Hypefury to help build your community. As they say in the NFT world, it’s all about the community… and the floor price ;)!