Twitter announced in a blog post today that it is doing away with the iconic (and infamous) egg default profile picture. The company explained in the exhaustingly thorough blog post that in place of the egg, it has developed a new default profile picture that encourages expression and diversity…
In the post, Twitter explains that it went through many iterations of its new profile picture to ensure that it represents a specific set of qualities: generic, universal, serious, unbranded, temporary, and inclusive. Twitter notes that it worked to make sure the default picture was inclusive of everyone, specifically focusing on ensuring the picture was gender-balanced:
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. 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.
The move comes as Twitter has worked to clean up spam and harassment on the social network. The company has come under fire for not doing enough to combat harassment and has thus introduced a variety of new measures over recent months. Though, some would still say it still hasn’t done enough.
Most recently, Twitter announced new muting features that make it easier for users to filter out unwanted content from notifications and timelines. The company also recently stopped counting @usernames towards the character count in tweets.
The egg profile picture has become associated with the type of spam and harassment accounts that Twitter is trying to do away with, thus likely the reasoning for the new, less recognizable default profile picture. Twitter hopes by making the profile picture more generic, users will be less inclined to use it and instead opt for something more personal and unique and work towards reducing anonymity:
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.
What do you think of Twitter’s new default profile picture? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.