I have found an answer to my question here but it's 7 years old. I simply want to know if I can use this column for my own purposes.

I'm planning to use the user_activation_key column to store a hashed key upon user registration and set an inactive flag in the user_status column. This flag will prevent users from logging in until their e-mail address has been verified.

  • 5
    Hijacking anything in WP, no matter how obsolete and unused it seems, is guaranteed to explode in your face later. Trust me on this. – Rarst Nov 23 '13 at 19:39

As far as I know it isn't used, but to avoid conflicts/problems, other plugins might use it, I'd go with adding a meta to the wp_usermeta table. There is a set of functions for handling that:

Shouldn't make a big difference for the functionality you want to implement, but you're on the saver side of things.

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