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Super simple Twitter avatars

If you use Twitter avatars in your web site or app then you need to check  out tweetimag.es. It’s a great free service courtesy of Joe Stump that allows you to reference any Twitter users avatar with a uniform URL.

Why is this important? If you have ever viewed the URL of your own avatar you will notice that it’s a direct link to a file hosted on Amazon S3 that includes the original file name. Here’s mine by way of example:

http://a1.twimg.com/profile_images/45645532/lime_half_bigger.jpg

If I change my avatar to a new file a brand new URL for the image will be created. Any reference in your app to the original avatar (most likely accessed via the API) will now result in a broken image. Of course you can code around this but you shouldn’t have to.

Using tweetimag.es is super simple. All you have to do to reference a users avatar in your application is use the following URL pattern:

<img src="http://img.tweetimag.es/i/{{username}}_{{size}}" alt="" />

The service gives you access to four sizes of avatar:

In order to grab my own avatar image 48 x 48 pixels I would do the following:

<img src="http://img.tweetimag.es/i/keirwhitaker_n" alt="keirwhitaker" />

We used this approach in our new Future of Web Design site and it works really well. Go check it out.

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