Social network Twitter has announced to introduce default profile photo – a gender neutral silhouette – to “prompt more self-expression.” Twitter is also dropping its default “egg” avatar to break free of the association with trolling on the platform.
“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.
According to Twitter, the new default profile photo would feel “more like an empty state or placeholder” and encourage users to upload their own real images.
“We noticed that some people kept the egg default profile photo because they thought it was fun and cute, but we want people to use this space to show us who they are! The new default image feels more like an empty state or placeholder, and we hope it encourages people to upload images that express themselves.”
When Twitter was launched in 2006, the default profile picture was of a silhouette of a person. Next year, it was changed to “o_O”, and then in 2009, the bird motif was introduced. In 2010, Twitter made the egg as default.
“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,” the blogpost said.
“For the new default profile photo, we decided that we wanted to use people’s existing expectations for default profile photos and how they serve as a temporary placeholder. From this process, we identified a set of traits the new default profile photo should have: Generic, Universal, Serious, Unbranded, Temporary, and Inclusive.”
“We hope this new default profile photo encourages more people to express themselves on Twitter!,” the social network added.