Some Twitter users are expressing major disbelief after discovering the social network no longer allows them to upload animated GIFs as their personal avatars.
Previously, users had been forced to use workarounds to post animated avatars because of Twitter’s profile photo policy. Those tactics appear to have stopped working.
Illustrator Chris Torres, who introduced Nyan Cat to the masses in 2011 and now has a Twitter account with an animated avatar of the meme, experimented unsuccessfully Thursday after hearing the news.
“Oh wow, I just tried to upload an animated avatar on an unused alt account and it didn’t animate,” Torres said. “That’s scary! But it’s also cool knowing we’re part of an exclusive animated GIF club.”
People with existing animated avatars won’t be affected by the GIF freeze-out, according to Twitter’s Help Center, which details the company’s policy against animated avatars:
We asked Twitter whether the policy became stricter on Thursday or if that’s just when people began to take notice, and we’re still waiting for a response.
“I’ve never really seen the big deal on why people look down on those who have animated avatars,” says Torres, who thinks Twitter clamped down on GIFs because people were uploading GIFs several megabytes large (Twitter requires avatar photos, 700 KB or smaller in size).