After 7 years, Twitter replaces iconic egg hatch profile image with human face to encourage self expression

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New York | Updated: April 1, 2017 2:59:23 PM

Popular micro-blogging website Twitter has changed its iconic default egg profile photo to a new neutral human silhouette after seven years as part of an initiative to combat harassment and encourage users to upload their own pictures.

The social media network said it realised that it was time to change the default profile photo to help prompt more self-expression. (Reuters)Popular micro-blogging website Twitter has changed its iconic default egg profile photo to a new neutral human silhouette after seven years as part of an initiative to combat harassment and encourage users to upload their own pictures. The change in strategy came after the famous Twitter egg photo became associated with negative behaviour and trolls to harass and bully others. “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,” the company announced yesterday.

The social media network said it realised that it was time to change the default profile photo to help prompt more self-expression.

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“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,” Twitter said.

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“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. 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 personalised their profile photo,” it said.

The company said that it went through many iterations to develop the new profile photo to make sure it was a “more gender-balanced figure” and felt temporary, generic and universal.

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