Why X (formerly Twitter) did away with NFT profile pictures
This move signifies a step back from what was once a high-profile flirtation with the blockchain and digital art world.
Introduced under Twitter’s prior management in January 2022, this feature allowed Twitter Blue subscribers to display NFTs minted on Ethereum (ERC-721 or ERC-1155 tokens) as hexagon-shaped profile pictures.
The NFT profile pictures were more than just digital bling; they came with a backstory. Clicking or tapping on these hexagonal avatars revealed details about the NFT, such as the collection it belonged to, the contract address, TokenID, and the app used for minting.
This feature brought a slice of the blockchain directly into the social media experience, bridging the gap between digital asset enthusiasts and the broader public.
However, amid the announcement of new AI-powered tools and peer-to-peer payment features, X decided to retire this NFT feature.
The company has scrubbed all mentions of the NFT profile picture functionality from its X Premium support page.
While those who previously set NFTs as their profile pictures still retain their hexagonal avatars, it’s unclear whether X plans to phase these out completely.
This decision by X doesn’t exist in isolation. The broader social media landscape has seen similar pullbacks. In 2022, both Instagram and Facebook began experimenting with NFTs, but by March 2023, Meta had shut down its support for these digital tokens.
The NFT market, known for its volatility, has shown resilience despite some high-profile tokens like the Bored Ape Yacht Club experiencing significant value drops from their peak.
Recent months have seen a recovery in the NFT sector, with trade volumes surpassing $1.6 billion, as reported by NFT aggregator CryptoSlam.
The epic rise and fall of NFTs
The rise and fall of NFTs have been a rollercoaster ride. Bursting onto the scene as a novel way to own and trade digital art, NFTs quickly captured the imagination of artists, collectors, and investors.
They represented a new frontier in digital ownership, leveraging blockchain technology to provide proof of authenticity and ownership in a digital realm notorious for copies and fakes.
However, the market faced challenges, including environmental concerns, market volatility, and questions about the tangible value of digital ownership.
Despite these hurdles, NFTs have left an indelible mark on the digital landscape, reshaping how we think about art, ownership, and the intersection of technology and creativity.