Twitter has officially done away with its egg avatar out of fear the default profile image had become associated with trolls.
Since 2010, anyone opening a new account on Twitter was given an egg icon as their profile picture until they uploaded their own image, but the microblogging firm has decided to go a new route. Twitter has debuted a new default profile photo: a “gender-balanced” figure in monochromatic grey.
Twitter listed a number of reasons for the change but, chief among them, was that the egg avatar was often associated with abusive tweeters and trolls.
“We’ve noticed patterns of behavior with accounts that are created only to harass others – often they don’t take the time to personalize their accounts,” Twitter said in a blog post. “This has created an association between the default egg profile photo and negative behavior, which isn’t fair to people who are still new to Twitter and haven’t yet personalized their profile photo.”
The company said other users chose to keep the egg as their avatar because they “thought it was fun and cute,” but added it wants to do all it can to encourage people to personalize their avatars.
“The new default image feels more like an empty state or placeholder, and we hope it encourages people to upload images that express themselves,” the company said.
Twitter said designing the new avatar was a long process with a number of icon styles being considered including a line-based pattern. Once the team settled on using a more traditional human figure, it looked at generic versions such as bathroom signs, but decided against using that as a starting point because of the round head shapes, a trait that is more commonly associated with men.
“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,” Twitter said. “We reviewed many variations of our figure, altering both the head and shoulders to feel more inclusive to all genders.”
The new default avatar comes just weeks after the firm debuted a new set of tools to combat offensive and abusive behavior on its social networking site.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.Avatars, Boot, default, Gives, Twitter