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Twitter’s NFT profile picture authentication: Why is this a big deal?

Twitter first released its plan of announcing NFT profile images in September 2021, now after months of anticipation, the microblogging platform released an official verification mechanism for NFT profile pictures.

Written by Mehab Qureshi | Pune |
Updated: January 21, 2022 6:12:17 pm
Twitter, twitter NFT, twitter hexagon,Twitter now lets you authenticate your NFTs with a Hexagonal profile picture. (Image Source: Twitter)

Twitter on Friday announced a new way for users to authenticate their profile pictures, fueled by non fungible tokens (NFTs). This comes as good news for NFT owners who have been uploading jpeg images of their digital assets as profile pictures. The platform now enables users to link any NFT they own to their Twitter account and as proof of authenticity, Twitter will show authentic NFT profile pictures with a new hexagon-shaped mask.

For the uninitiated, NFTs are digital assets that can be in the form of art, GIF, music, short videos, for that matter even your profile picture can be turned into an NFT— what makes NFT special is that it is stored on a blockchain (a digital database that’s publicly accessible) that stores proof of ownership.

Twitter first released its plan of announcing NFT profile images in September 2021, now after months of anticipation, the microblogging platform released an official verification mechanism for NFT profile pictures.

But..why does it matter?

This won’t be the first time crypto enthusiasts will be using NFTs as profile pictures on Twitter. For instance, popular rap artist Eminem recently changed his profile picture to a BAYC NFT that is owned by him, but there’s been skepticism about the durability of “ownership” over these digital assets.

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Sure, you might upload an ape NFT in your profile picture– but what’s stopping someone from just right-clicking the image and setting it as their profile picture, too? And who knows, whether you really own the NFT?

Twitter is changing this forever, users who actually own an NFT will now get a new hexagonal border on their profile image. So, if a pesky right-clicker tries to use your NFT as their profile picture without first buying the NFT, they will still be able to use the image, but they will be stuck with the classic circle frame.

How do I get an NFT profile pic?

The pre-requisite to getting an NFT profile picture is a crypto wallet. Crypto wallets allow you to hold and transact (buy, sell, convert, send, etc.) with tokens owned by your public wallet address. This includes NFTs which are a type of token. (To know more about crypto wallets please take a quick detour of our article and circle back.)

To set up an NFT profile picture, you’ll need to connect your Twitter account to a crypto wallet that holds the NFT you’d like to select. Currently, Twitter supports Argent, Coinbase Wallet, Ledger Live, MetaMask, Rainbow, and Trust Wallet only. You must also control the address that holds the NFT you’d like to select as your profile picture.

When you connect your supported crypto wallet to Twitter, Twitter will generate a verification request message to your wallet address, where you’ll be asked to complete a signing request which will include your Twitter handle. Some things to keep in mind: signing requests should only come from a Twitter.com domain. Twitter will never ask you to send funds when connecting your crypto wallet.

As of now, Twitter only supports static image NFTs (JPEG, PNG) minted on the Ethereum blockchain (for example ERC-721 and ERC-1155 tokens). Note: You can only connect one crypto wallet to your Twitter account at a time.

If you’re already displaying an NFT profile picture and would like to use an NFT held in a different wallet, you’ll simply connect that new wallet to your Twitter account. You can do this from your Settings under ‘Edit profile’. Click your profile picture and select ‘Use another wallet’.

The feature is currently live only for iOS users. It may come to Android later on, but there is no confirmation on the same as of now. Twitter users will need to have a Twitter Blue certification to link and authenticate their NFTs. The Twitter Blue premium subscription costs $2.99 per month in supported regions, a small addition compared to the money required to purchase an NFT.

Selling or transferring NFT

If you wish to sell or transfer the NFT in your profile picture, the hexagon shape of the profile picture reverts back to a circle. The image remains the same as the NFT you previously owned, but it won’t display any NFT details to suggest ownership.

However, if you’d like to display another NFT, select from your NFTs in your wallet or link another wallet. In case, you don’t wish to display an NFT as your profile picture, you can simply change your profile picture to remove your NFT.

You can also check out NFT details from the profile picture details, where you’ll be able to see if a project or collection has been verified by OpenSea or another third party marketplace.

When you see an NFT profile picture, you can see details about the NFT by visiting the profile, tapping on the profile picture, then selecting ‘View NFT’ details. You’ll see details such as the NFT owner, NFT description, collection, properties, and additional details such as the NFT’s contract address.

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