UPDATED 12:00 EDT / JANUARY 21 2022


Twitter launches hexagon-shaped NFT profile pictures

Social media giant Twitter Inc. has rolled out a feature that allows the owners of nonfungible token artwork to showcase them as their Twitter profiles in the form of a “soft hexagon.”

Twitter made the feature available on Thursday to Twitter Blue subscribers who have Apple Inc. iOS devices for the cost of $2.99 a month. There are no details yet on when it will be available for other platforms. Users can access it through Labs, an area where Twitter tests new features.

NFTs are a type of crypto asset secured by blockchain technology that provides a digital receipt representing ownership of a particular virtual asset. In the case of digital artwork, it can be used to prove the ownership provenance of the artwork. NFTs have also been used for the purchase and trade of other items such as music, books, digital trading cards, video game items, virtual avatars and more.

Any user who sees someone on Twitter with one of these hexagon-shaped profile pictures can learn more about the NFT by clicking on it. On mobile, select “ViewNFT details” and on the web just keep clicking until they appear. From there it displays an entire sidebar that shows what entity verified the NFT, who the creator is, its description and more metadata.

Twitter’s verified NFT profile pictures support several crypto wallets that users can connect to prove that their images are indeed theirs, including MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, Ledger Live and Trust Wallet.

The launch did come with its critics in the Twitter community, with a popular uprising occurring amid tweets in the “Twitterverse.” Some users noted that upon seeing the hexagon image on someone’s profile picture, they would use it as a reason to block or ignore them, citing that they considered NFTs problematic because of the highly speculative market and the negative publicity surrounding the tokens.

The morning of the launch also had issues when the primary validator for NFTs, the OpenSea marketplace, had an outage that took the system offline for several hours.

Shortly thereafter a controversy arose when Adam Hollander, the owner of the Bored Ape Yacht Club #3987 NFT, revealed in a tweet that the verified NFT profile pictures work for any NFTs in the collection and not just those from verified collections.

“There’s a major problem with the new Twitter PFP feature,” Hollander wrote. “It appears to work on any NFT in your collection. Not just verified collections. This means that someone can just right-click-save any NFT, mint it, and then use it as their PFP.”

According to Hollander’s revelation the entire underlying premise of Twitter’s validation of “verified NFT collections” could have far less value. For example, a person could easily copy an already existing NFT image and mint it as another NFT, add it to their collection and then use it as their profile picture and there would be no way to tell the difference.

Justin Taylor, Twitter’s head of consumer product marketing, replied to Hollander and said this was on purpose. The company wants to allow anyone to use any NFT from their collection, not just verified collections, in order to support the broader NFT movement.

People who want to know if the NFT in question comes from a verified collection can find out by diving into the NFT details by clicking on the profile picture and looking at the metadata.

Image: Twitter

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