Twitter adds NFT integration for profile pictures
You can now add a non-fungible token (NFT) as your profile picture on Twitter, thanks to a new integration the company unveiled on Friday.
Twitter Blue followers can now connect their host cryptocurrency wallets such as Coinbase, Rainbow, and MetaMask to their profiles. When Blue users go to change their profile picture, there will be an option to select one of the NFTs from their collection. If chosen, the NFT is displayed in a hexagonal box rather than a traditional circle.
The news comes as reports suggest Meta – Facebook’s parent company – is developing the same capabilities for its platform. Meta is also said to be developing technology that allows its users to also create NFTs of their profiles.
While the developments may help mainstream NFT and smart contract technology, some are also wondering if this is a step in the wrong direction.
Practical use of the blockchain
NFTs began as a way to securely sell digital art online and thus established themselves as a practical use of blockchain technology. Today, companies in industries ranging from media to sports are using technology to create collectibles and engage their customers.
The smart contract technology underlying NFTs ensures their authenticity but has also been shown to be vulnerable to fraud. The blockchain only records purchases and sales, which means that the actual data source of the NFT itself is stored elsewhere.
Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of secure messaging app Signal, traveled the crypto universe in October 2021 creating an NFT that turned into a poo emoji when purchased to prove the point, according to a report by The Verge.
Who will guard the guards?
Technicalities aside, some say companies like Meta and Twitter clash with the philosophical tenets under which NFTs were created. Namely: decentralize control over data, information and finances.
Meta and Twitter both make a lot of money selling data and information to their users, practices that Web3 developers seek to eradicate. Now both companies are pushing NFTs to the forefront, with some worrying about who controls the space.
The NFT space is already filling up with copyright disputes. For example, director Quentin Tarantino is in a row with Miramax over a “Pulp Fiction” NFT. The Phunky Ape Yacht Club and the Bored Ape Yacht Club are also fighting over two similar images. With Twitter and Facebook acting as a content exchange, the question becomes: who will guard the guards?
A new era of Twitter
The shift to NFTs could also help usher in a new era for Twitter, dominated by games.
Twitter is already one of the biggest gaming communication platforms on the web. The company tracked more than 2.4 billion tweets about gaming last year, according to a Blog Publish. This total represents a 14% year-over-year increase and a 10-fold increase over the past five years.
The company already offers an extensive library of games on its platform and plans to expand it in the future.
Meanwhile, NFTs are slowly making their way into games. For example, Square Enix, famous for making the Final Fantasy series, announcement it is integrating blockchain and NFT functionality into its games on January 1.
Other game makers like Ubisoft have tried to integrate NFT functions into their games and got disappointing results.
JJ Bakken, a computer science professor at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, told the school newspaper the integration might not do as much for gamers as NFT investors hope.
“Companies (including big game companies) are interested in NFTs because, like in any emerging, unregulated economy, there is money to be made there,” Bakken said.
Read more: AMC CEO asks Twitter if the movie chain should accept Dogecoin
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