Huge news for the Crypto Twitter crowd: you can now make your NFT your profile picture. Well, yes, you could have done that before, but now you can verify through blockchain that you own it, and Twitter will reward you with a hexagon around it.
And it's only for Twitter Blue subscribers, only on iPhones, and only in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And it's only for NFTs minted on Ethereum and stored on OpenSea.
I say it’s big news —for NFT users and for Twitter as a company. But it's also a moment that will further fuel critics of NFTs and of Twitter.
Twitter first teased this feature four months ago, and we wrote at the time that it was "full of promise" but also "fraught with peril." Now the feature is live, and whether you're a Bored Ape collector tweeting "wagmi" and "looks rare" all day, or a staunch NFT hater threatening to boycott every game-maker that implements NFTs, or somewhere in-between, here are 5 reasons to pay attention to how this goes.
The feature helps show people how NFTs work.
The popular rallying cry of people who think NFTs are stupid is "I just right-clicked and saved it." Anyone with enough patience typically explains that non-fungible tokens are blockchain-based ownership certificates, so while anyone can screenshot it and display it, that's not the same as owning it . Twitter's feature shows that rather than just telling it: only the owner of an NFT can prove, by plugging into the Ethereum blockchain, that they own it, and get the verified hexagon.
Twitter just gave OpenSea an even bigger lead.
OpenSea is the top NFT marketplace by a longsho, and smashed its monthly record last week only halfway through the month. It has a huge lead over challengers like SuperRare, Foundation, Nifty Gateway, Zora, Rarible, and LooksRare. If you're those marketplaces, you are not happy to see the Twitter feature; it's like Facebook adding a feature for sharing your sneaker collection, but only supporting Nike sneakers. What will those marketplaces do now to stand out and compete?
Even the NFT crowd isn't entirely happy with the feature.
Over the week we listened in on a Twitter Spaces entitled, "Did Twitter Just Use Us to Sell a Feature Without Prioritizing Our Needs?" In a heated three-hour forum, NFT fans complained about Twitter using the NFT feature to sell Twitter Blue subscriptions. Capitalists might remind them that Twitter is a business, with shareholders, and needs to generate revenue. But this will be something to monitor: If even the NFT fans ditch the verified NFT PFPs, the feature will be a failure.
After the announcement, Elon Musk did not mince words in his tweet saying: “This is annoying. Twitter is spending engineering resources on this bs while crypto scammers are throwing a spambot block party in every thread!?”