Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


So Long o_O

Reviewed Sep. 22, 2009 by Armin

Industry / Technology Tags /

Twitter Default Avatar, Before and After

Correct, this is not a logo. Yet for many of us who use Twitter and for others who don’t but at least know of its existence even if puzzled by it, the default avatars that Twitter bestowed upon new account holders that have yet to upload a custom pic, is part of our visual, web-based landscape. And, at least for me, it’s quite a respite to see the crazy-eyed avatar being replaced by a slew of colorful birdies.

Twitter Bird and Facebook's Default Avatar

Twitter’s official bird (left) and Facebook’s default avatar.

The main reason I cheer the demise of the old avatar — beyond it being ugly in color and execution — is that it simply wasn’t fitting for such a forward-looking and embracing enterprise. The old avatar — a verticon showing someone as “confused, surprised,” or in “disbelief” — was too much like a frat joke, kind of childish and humorous to only a few. I may be taking it too serious, but Twitter is serious stuff and it’s the small decisions that can tell bigger stories.

To me, this new avatar represents a maturing of Twitter and positions it more on par with Facebook, even if it still lags a few million users. It’s not the best avatar by any means but, whether Twitter would like to call it such or not, it’s a proper brand extension: If you are going to have hundreds of users go with the default setting why not build some brand equity in that little bird. It’s been really great to see the subtle changes that take over Twitter every now and then, and it will be interesting to see if it becomes more of a branded environment as it grows. In the meantime, there is no question that this bird has left its nest. Or some other metaphor for growing up.

Thanks to Jack Amick for the tip.



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