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Twitter brings NFTs to profile photos, but only for Twitter Blue subscribers

Twitter is giving NFT enthusiasts a new reason to pay for a Twitter Blue subscription. The company is testing a new feature that allows NFT owners to authenticate NFTs displayed in their profile photos.

The feature, which is being offered as an early stage “Labs” feature for Twitter Blue subscribers, allows NFT owners to connect their crypto wallet to their Twitter account and display an NFT as their profile photo. While many NFT owners already use the art in their profile photos, the Twitter Blue feature will also add an icon indicating that the NFT has been authenticated and that person behind the account is the official owner of the piece.

Though only Twitter Blue subscribers can access the feature, the authentication symbol will be visible to everyone on Twitter. And other users will be able to tap on the hexagon symbol in order to learn more about the NFT in the image.

Twitter will verify NFTs in profile photos for Twitter Blue subscribers.
Twitter

While Twitter has previously indicated that it was working on an NFT authentication service, it’s notable that it would choose to offer the feature to Twitter Blue subscribers first, The company debuted the $3/month subscription service in November, in a bid to appeal to power users who might pay for specialized features. The NFT feature is “still under active development,” according to the company, and it’s not clear if it plans to launch it more widely. Twitter has previously said that early-stage “labs” features are experiments that could become available outside of Twitter Blue, kept around for subscribers, or killed off entirely.

Airbnb will offer travel insurance this spring

Airbnb knows you might be reluctant to book a stay while the COVID-19 pandemic makes trips risky, so it's planning to offer some protection of its own. The rental service has revealed it will introduce custom travel insurance for guests sometime this spring. While the terms aren't available, Airbnb will team with a "reputable" insurer to offer coverage.

The company has also launched a Guest COVID Support Program that partly compensates travellers if border closures, quarantine periods or other government policies make existing reservations impractical. If a host won't provide a full refund, Airbnb will offer a travel coupon worth 50 percent of whatever hasn't been refunded so far. The program applies to all stays with a check-in date of December 1st, 2021 or later, so you might want to talk to Airbnb if your holiday plans fell apart.

There's no mystery behind the strategy. Airbnb's business has been hit hard by the pandemic as a whole, and COVID-19's Omicron variant is only increasing the worry for hosts and guests who were hoping the worst was behind them. First-party insurance and coupons might persuade some would-be adventurers to book stays when they would have otherwise stayed home.

Peloton is reportedly pausing Bike and Tread production amid lower demand

Peloton is reportedly pumping the brakes on Bike and Tread production as demand for the home fitness equipment is said to be slowing.

It's said to be putting production of its standard Bike and Tread (treadmill) products on hold for two months and six weeks, respectively. The company stopped building Bike+ units last month and it doesn’t plan to pick up production of that more expensive model until June, CNBC reports. As for Tread+, Peloton reportedly doesn’t expect to build any more of those in its 2022 fiscal year.

According to CNBC, Peloton said in an internal presentation that there’s been a significant drop in demand due to consumer “price sensitivity” and increased competition from rivals. On top of that, gyms are open again in many regions following COVID-19 lockdown measures. After being cooped up at home for the better part of two years, it wouldn’t be surprising if fitness fans wanted to work out elsewhere. Meanwhile, research firm M Science said it hasn’t seen evidence of a rise in demand for at-home fitness amid the surge of the Omicron variant.

As things stand, Peloton is said to have overestimated demand and thousands of its products are in warehouses and on cargo ships. It reportedly needs to sell many of those before making more bikes and treadmills.

Meanwhile, per the presentation, Peloton Guide was delayed from October to next month, and the product might slip again to April. Peloton Guide is a strength-training system that uses camera and machine learning to track users' movements and help them match their form against an instructor.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Peloton is looking to reduce costs. Measures could include layoffs and store closures.

Engadget has contacted Peloton for comment. The company will report its latest quarterly financial results on February 8th, which should make the status of Peloton and its products slightly clearer.

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