Launched last January, the feature was billed as an exclusive benefit for paying users, introduced in the era before billionaire Elon Musk purchased the social media platform later that year. It was also seen by crypto advocates as a forward-thinking move that validated NFTs, ahead of similar decisions by Meta to integrate NFTs into Facebook and Instagram later that year.
However, the ability for X Premium subscribers to activate the feature via the iPhone version of the mobile app is no longer available. TechCrunch first reported the move early Wednesday, noting that X Premium marketing no longer mentions the feature. Decrypt independently confirmed that the option is not currently offered within the app.
Users were previously able to designate an Ethereum NFT as a profile picture by confirming ownership via the blockchain, and the image would be shaped like a hexagon rather than the standard circular PFP. It’s unclear whether users who still had an NFT equipped will still be able to use the verification method, or whether it profile pictures will still appear as hexagons on the platform.
Twitter has yet to comment publicly on the decision. Decrypt reached out to the company and received an automatic reply stating, “Busy now, please check back later.” Previously, under Musk’s regime, the platform’s press outreach email address returned a poop emoji to any received email.
Crypto Twitter users have largely responded by memeing the news, with many people posting some variation of the following tweet: “X has removed support for NFT PFPs. Just so you know: Digital property rights are not a joke. If any of you take screenshots of my [NFT] and pretend it’s yours, I will sue you.”
X has removed support for NFT pfps.
Just so you know:
Digital property rights are not a joke.
If any of you take screenshots of my CryptoPunk and pretend it’s yours, I will sue you. pic.twitter.com/SHnSNEjXqo
— Farokh (@farokh) January 10, 2024
While Twitter was the first of the social media giants to embrace NFTs, Meta moved on much faster. In March 2023, Meta announced that it was “winding down” support for NFTs on Instagram to focus on other priorities. Meta is still building towards its vision of the metaverse, a more immersive future internet, but has shifted more attention to AI development of late.
News of Twitter’s removal of the NFT profile picture feature comes following major crypto-related drama on the platform. On Tuesday, the official account of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) tweeted that it had approved trading of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). But minutes later, SEC Chair Gary Gensler tweeted that the account had been “compromised” and that the approval was not yet made.
Twitter confirmed late Tuesday that the SEC account lacked two-factor authorization to secure access, and that someone had gained unauthorized access to a phone number tied to the account. On Wednesday, the SEC said that it has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help investigate the issue, with the regulator claiming that the false tweet was not a saved draft that an unauthorized user posted ahead of schedule.
Even so, the SEC is still expected to announce the official approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States on Wednesday, with analysts projecting a late afternoon announcement ahead of trading expected to begin Thursday.
Edited by Ryan Ozawa.