On January 20th, Twitter Blue’s official account tweeted out that they would be integrating NFT PFPs, verified through a wallet connect, into accounts that bought into Twitter Blue:
You asked (a lot), so we made it. Now rolling out in Labs: NFT Profile Pictures on iOS pic.twitter.com/HFyspS4cQW
— Twitter Blue (@TwitterBlue) January 20, 2022
The community reacted immediately, especially those associated with the 14 different projects shouted out in Twitter’s ad as seen in the tweet embedded above. The commercial featured many of the expected PFP projects such as Cryptopunks and the Bored Apes, but I personally appreciated that they took a step deeper into the NFT community featuring Farokh with a Cool Cats PFP, Lirona of the BOIZ collection, Pablo alongside one of his Robotos NFTs, Micah Johnson and his project AkuDreams, Community leaders Josh Ong and Punk6529, and Ros Gold-Onwude with her World of Women NFT, amongst others.
In addition to the 14 PFP projects featured, Twitter also dropped in several more easter eggs such as shoutouts to other NFT projects in the background including 13-year-old NFT Starchild, and creator of “Long Necky Ladies,” Nyla Hayes:
While many responded to Twitter blue’s “gm” tweet with enthusiasm, there was also an overwhelmingly negative response towards this large step into Web3. Many community members were confused as to why they had to pay for the feature, which resulted in a number of quality memes such as the one below:
Others had different thoughts…
And, at the same time, several respected members of the community weighed in with more valid arguments in relation to the ethos of Web3:
How about we all prove our bags to Twitter Blue to re-centralize our inventories of #web3 pushing us into sloppy trading tactics and give the system another reason to enslave us to our phones?
— DAVID BIANCHI (@davidbianchi) January 21, 2022
someone with a brain…
let's cheer web3 because web2 overlords allow us to use it on their platform
— 0xCham🅿️ (@0xChampi) January 21, 2022
These points are more than valid. And the very reason that many community members decided to stray away from their hexagonal PFPS. While it is quite interesting to see a Web2 monolith such as Twitter integrate with a Web3 element such as a wallet connect- many Web3 natives don’t see any need to, in the words of David Bianchi, “prove our bags” to anyone. That being said, for the sake of transparency, I did decide to try out a hexagonal PFP myself and, since I’m unfortunately not the owner of an Ape or Punk, I added in one of my OG NFTs, a “Mine Bitcoin” Curio Card which I happen to own.
While I do agree that no one needs to prove themselves to anyone and to say that I actually totally agree with Bianchi and respect his opinion, I’d also like to bring up a specific crypto adage when considering this topic:
Don’t trust, verify.
So while I hear the serious collectors in this space who want to remain as anon as possible- and very much respect their stance- I do also see this integration as a positive step forward. A large portion of the Web3 community is principally active on Twitter. And considering how many projects of late have been derivatives of other popular projects, there is something exciting about proving ownership of a valuable NFT and having fellow community members recognize the value of what you own. Real recognizes real.
That being said, and since I’m constantly playing devil’s advocate on myself (not sure what that says about me), I feel the need to mention two flaws in the current setup of Twitter’s PFP Web3 integration as it exists right now; one fatal, and one personal/petty:
- As mentioned in a medium article by Sr Tech Reporter at Mashable Jack Morse, “Twitter’s hexagonal profile pics makes right-click saving NFTs even funnier; I made a fake ‘CryptoPunk’ NFT and Twitter let me add it to my profile.” The fact that there isn’t a bot that ensures that PFPS come from a verified collection, or a requirement for users to go through some form of a verification process, means that anyone can mint anything as an NFT and subsequently make it their “verified” Twitter PFP. This can be an amazing feature for artists who want to mint their work and make it a PFP, such as Bryan Brinkman. However, this also works out far too well for right-click-savers.
- I previously had an image of one of my Gen1 Cryptokitties as my Twitter PFP zoomed in close so that one could see the ETH symbol on its forehead. Unfortunately, when I tried to make it my “official” NFT PFP, I wasn’t able to zoom in on the image and it turned out too small to see. This is a personal and petty gripe but I felt it relevant and worth mentioning in this piece in hopes that someone from Twitter reads this.
These issues aside, this is merely Twitter’s next trepidatious step into the NFT/Web3 Space. Given that they’ve been trying to respond actively to the Web3 space with this add-on, we can only hope that they take the community’s criticisms to heart and continue to develop, update, and refine their web3 integrations. In the meantime, I’m over here sporting my Twitter PFP and if you are too, or if you disagree with them entirely, feel free to let us know over on our Twitter:
@NFTSxWTF or attack me directly @davidcash888