The world is rapidly changing as it moves from a rigid social climate to a more creative one. Future social platforms will likely allow for greater freedom of self-expression. And while Meta (formerly Facebook) still requires its users to represent their real-life names as per its authenticity policy, it will likely fall in line as soon as more people demand the ability to represent a different online persona.
On Twitter, pseudonymous accounts are already accepted as long as they’re not misleading or deceptive.
In fact, you can already use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a pfp (profile picture) on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media channels, allowing you to embody a 2D avatar and establish your online identity as you see fit.
However, there is a difference between using an NFT image as your pfp and using a verified NFT as your pfp, which we shall tackle later on.
What is a PFP NFT?
A pfp NFT is a type of NFT that is designed to be used as a profile picture for online identities, particularly on social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit.
What sets them apart from other types of non-fungible assets is their pfp-ability; they are designed to represent people. While art is generally subjective, one can easily distinguish pfp NFTs through their anthropomorphic look and vibe.
The idea came into prominence right after the OG collection known as CryptoPunks started getting global recognition in 2020, three years after its launch. And then new-generation collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Degenerate Ape Academy, and SpaceBudz rose to adopt the same elements of pfp art.
PFP artworks usually come in large quantities (10K pieces or so) but use the same base artwork and more than a hundred different attributes. All pieces are then combined using a software algorithm to form a collection of similar-looking but individually-unique NFTs.
The concept exploded in popularity from mid-to-late 2021, elevating the aforementioned collections to elite status, and spawning different knockoffs known as derivative collections. New projects came; some were amazing and stuck while most were mediocre and died quickly.
Why People Use NFT PFPs
People decide to use NFTs as pfps for a variety of reasons, primarily to express themselves and showcase their membership to a particular community online. For example, if I use a DeGods pfp on Twitter, I get to show the world that I am a member of “the coolest and GOAT-est group of people on Solana,” which may or may not be true.
The point is that people who sport a pfp of a particular project are doing so because they feel like they belong and are willing to represent the community. It’s literally the same psychology that dictates why people choose to wear Gucci clothing or take part in certain cosplays. The keywords here are “belong” and “community”.
On the flip side, a certain percentage of users wear NFT pfps on their profiles in order to raise the floor price of a collection and sell their NFTs for a profit. In fact, there are multiple groups of people that collectively do this deliberately in private chats. This is the “dark side” of the NFT space, along with money laundering, art theft, and other abominations.
Despite all that, we at Metaroids see ‘bad players’ as a small part of the ecosystem that will ultimately matter less in the long run as the space matures.
Using NFT PFPs on Social Media
There are two types of NFT pfps: verified and unverified. For now, Twitter is the only social platform that allows verified profile picture NFTs, but you can use any pfp images on other social media accounts.
In fact, the vast majority of users still use unverified pfps since we are still in the “early days”.
All you need to do is access the image of a particular NFT, download it, and then upload it to your social account. Make sure to only use NFTs that you really own in order to remain on the safe side of copyright law.
For now, there are two advantages of using verified pfp NFTs on Twitter. One is that others will be more inclined to believe that you truly own the pfp you are using. And if they click on the profile image, they’ll get to see more information about the NFT, such as the description, traits, OpenSea page, etc. See sample below:
David Finzer’s (OpenSea Co-Founder) Twitter PFP
How to Use a Verified NFT PFP on Twitter
There are two ways to use an NFT pfp on Twitter. One is to normally upload an NFT’s image on Twitter as your profile image. The more legitimate way is to connect the wallet that holds your NFT to the social platform so it can verify the authenticity of your profile picture.
You can easily spot a verified Twitter pfp from an unverified one through the signature hexagon-shaped frame as opposed to the normal circular one.
Below, you can easily discern that user ExitLiquidity is using a verified pfp while CarlosMarcial isn’t.
Unfortunately, Twitter’s verified NFT profiles feature only supports iOS users and Ethereum-based NFTs, which severely limits the number of enthusiasts who could participate. For these reasons, Crypto Twitter consists mostly of unverified NFT pfps. The downside of this is that anyone can fake owning a certain NFT by using it as their profile image.
Nevertheless, many people still find pfp art cool to use on social media. Here is how you can make a verified NFT as your profile picture on Twitter:
Create Or Import a Mobile Wallet
As stated earlier, verified Twitter profile pics require iOS devices, hence, you need to have a mobile wallet that supports the Ethereum blockchain. We highly recommend you use MetaMask (normal users) or Coinbase Wallet (beginners).
If you already have an existing wallet, simply import it to a mobile version on your iOS device.
Transfer the NFT to Mobile Wallet
Whatever NFT you’ll be using, it needs to be held on your mobile wallet in order to be detected. Transfer it there if not done already.
Edit Twitter Profile
Head over to your Twitter profile and click Edit profile.
You will be directed to your profile editing page. Tap on the camera icon, as shown below:
If you’re using iOS, there should be two choices as shown above. You need to tap on Choose NFT.
Connect Mobile Wallet to Twitter
You should see a screen that allows you to connect your wallet. Tap on Connect my wallet. The next screen should give you a list of supported wallets.
In this example, we will use Coinbase Wallet. Whichever you choose, tap on it.
The app will then request a signature to confirm that you are the real owner of the account. Tap on Sign.
Choose Your NFT
You will then see a list of NFTs that are held in your wallet. Choose which one you want to use for your profile, then tap on it.
Tap Done then Save. And voila! You now have a verified Twitter pfp!
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