Twitter on Thursday announced the launch of a tool through which users can display non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as their profile pictures, capitalizing on a craze for digital collectibles that exploded last year.
The feature, available on iOS to users of the company’s Twitter Blue subscription service, connects their Twitter accounts to cryptocurrency wallets where users store NFT holdings.
Twitter displays NFT profile pictures as hexagons, differentiating them from the standard circles available to other users. Tapping on the photos brings up details about the art and its property.
Like other tech companies, Twitter is racing to cash in on cryptocurrency trends like NFTs, a type of speculative asset that authenticates digital items like images, videos and land in virtual worlds.
The social media platform last year added functionality for users to send and receive Bitcoin.
Sales of NFTs reached around $25 billion (approximately Rs. 1,86,250 crore) in 2021, according to data from market tracker DappRadar, although there were signs of slowing growth towards the end of the year.
Advocates of Web3 technologies such as NFTs say they decentralize online ownership, creating a path for users to make money from popular creations, rather than those benefits accumulating primarily on some technology platforms.
Critics dismiss claims of decentralization, noting that many of the services driving the adoption of these technologies — such as the six cryptocurrency wallets supported by Twitter’s NFT product — are backed by a small group of venture capitalists.
In a widely circulated post-launch tweet, security researcher Jane Manchun Wong highlighted one such link, showing how a disruption in the OpenSea NFT market temporarily blocked NFTs from loading on Twitter.
OpenSea did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
© Thomson Reuters 2022