Twitter has ditched its default egg avatar, and is replacing it with the image of a genderless person. The company made the announcement today in a blog post where it explained some of the reasons that inspired its action.
According to the social media company, the decision was inspired by the need to help prompt more self-expression among its users. The new image is designed to be less interesting and can best be described as more like a placeholder. This, according to Twitter, will encourage users to customize their profiles to an image that is more unique.
“For the past seven years, everyone who has created an account on Twitter starts out with their default profile photo as an egg. This was a playful way to reference how eggs hatch into birds that send all the Tweets you see on Twitter! But now it’s time for something new – something that encourages people to upload their own photos for more personal expression. So today, we’re introducing a new default profile photo,” Twitter said in a blog post.
Twitter arrived at the new default profile photo by reviewing all of its previous default profile photos in the last few years. Having reviewed all the previous images, the company settled for a people’s existing expectations for default photos and how they serve as a temporary placeholder. This helped the company to identify some of the features the new default profile should have.
Perhaps, the most interesting reason why Twitter opted for a new default profile image in my opinion is the fact that it wanted to deal with harassment. The company said it noticed a pattern of in which the default egg profile was too often associated with negative behavior.
“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. 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.”
Harassment is a big issue with Twitter, and the company in the last few years has spent time trying to deal with it. People with negative intentions usually have less time and desire to personalize their account. As a matter of fact, such accounts are usually left without the owners changing their default profile—preferring to leave the egg avatar as it is.
Yesterday, Twitter announced a new update that will henceforth exclude @username from replies. By this update, the microblogging company has effectively ditched its 140-character limit.
This change affects both the web and mobile versions of Twitter. Twitter’s new interface will those you are replying to above the tweet text, and longer within the tweet; freeing up more characters for you to express your thoughts and feelings on the microblogging platform.
The company said the update was in response to various calls and feedbacks it got from users who have been clamoring for changes to its 140-character limit. Reddy said the feedbacks showed that people engaged in more conversation on its platform more than ever.
Got something to add to this story? You can do that by using the comment box below.