For seven years, Twitter accounts have started with a default profile photo of an egg with one of several background colors; today that changes, as the social network decided—for debatable reasons—that it was time to ditch the egg in favor for something profoundly generic.
Twitter says it wanted “something that encourages people to upload their own photos for more personal expression.” The move follows a brand refresh last year.
“The new default image feels more like an empty state or placeholder,” Twitter admits of its own design.
The company apparently went through an exhaustive process to arrive at its grey silhouette, which the company itself defines as “generic,” “serious,” and “temporary.”
Twitter also wanted a gender-neutral design, because, you know, it’s 2017 and all that.
“We had to determine how to bring inclusivity into our single default profile photo, given that we don’t require people to specify their gender on Twitter,” the company says. “We felt that the circle of the head in the figure still seemed masculine, even though it technically had no design characteristics to indicate that it was a man.”
“We reviewed many variations of our figure, altering both the head and shoulders to feel more inclusive to all genders,” the design team said. “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.”
And now you have it: a bland silhouette, generic as possible by design. Enjoy, former eggs!