This article was published on December 20, 2010

Twitter avatar contest shows cute, customized birds are the way forward

Twitter avatar contest shows cute, customized birds are the way forward

Last month we covered a competition being run by Romanian design crowdsourcing website Palkoo to find a new default avatar for Twitter. Well, the winner’s been selected and you know what? It might just work.

The default avatar is the image you get next to your username when you set up a new twitter account. At the moment it’s a simple, white egg but Palkoo asked designers around the world to submit their ideas for something a bit different with the bait of an $800 prize.

The winner is this rather charming blue bird, as designed by a 22 year-old Bulgarian called Alecksander. What’s particularly interesting about the winning idea is that it’s designed to be personalised to reflect a user’s personality, as you can see in the image below. While there are plenty of services out there that will generate an avatar along these lines for you, the idea of Twitter building this into the user setup process would certainly get rid of all those identikit plain egg icons out there from users who haven’t bothered to find something better yet.

Palkoo says that most entries followed the bird and egg motifs, although bubbles and quotation marks were popular additions too. Based on the entries received, the company says it concluded that Twitter should add a simple, pleasant way of showing the why a user was yet to upload a custom avatar.

Twitter itself had nothing to do with this competition, so you shouldn’t expect anything official to come of this but a level of personalization for those too busy or too lazy to find their own avatar would certainly make Twitter a more colourful place and help tell them apart from the automated spam accounts out there.
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