Twitter drops those infamous egg profile pictures

Justin Harp
Photo credit: Giphy

From Digital Spy

Twitter users, say goodbye to those generic egg profile photos on the various accounts trying to scam you. There's a new creepy avatar in town…

The social media giant continued a string of huge changes to its display on Friday (March 31) by announcing it would be dropping its generic avatar in favour of something designed as a more obvious placeholder.

Photo credit: Twitter

(R.I.P. Eggsy)

Twitter's design team explained that they've made this change in hopes of encouraging users to upload actual photos of themselves and express themselves more freely.

So, goodbye Twitter egg…. And hello to decapitated oblong head! This is Twitter's brand new default avatar:

Photo credit: Twitter

Among the many reasons that Twitter chose to drop the egg is that they felt it encouraged the creation of accounts specifically used only to tweet abuse at other users.

"We've noticed patterns of behaviour with accounts that are created only to harass others – often they don't take the time to personalise their accounts," the design team explained in a blog.

"This has created an association between the default egg profile photo and negative behaviour, which isn't fair to people who are still new to Twitter and haven't yet personalised their profile photo."

So what's with the oblong head? The team say it was a conscious choice to avoid a circular head on the new logo because people often associate that image primarily with males.

Photo credit: Twitter

(Evolution of an avatar)

"People have come to associate the circle head with masculinity, and because of this association, we felt that it was important to explore alternate head shapes," they explained.

"We reviewed many variations of our figure, altering both the head and shoulders to feel more inclusive to all genders. When the shoulders were wider, the image felt overly masculine, so we decreased the width of the shoulders and adjusted the height of the figure.

"As a result of these iterations, we ended with a more gender-balanced figure. We chose greys because they feel temporary, generic, and universal. With that, we included a higher contrast colour combination to make this image accessible for those with visual impairments. Because of its colouring, the new profile photo also gives less prominence to accounts with a default profile photo."

Lots of Twitter users aren't satisfied with floating heads in their feeds (warning: NSFW tweets follow):

Twitter was previously panned earlier in the week when it stopped counting tagged usernames as part of the 140-character count, accidentally creating a canoe effect in the process.

Better luck next week, Tweeps!

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