It’s subtle, but if you look hard enough, the difference is there: in the curve at the base of the lowercase L’s, the serifs on the uppercase I’s, and the slash through the zeros. Twitter has made some alterations to its font—specifically in site user’s handles. The change was first reported on by the Verge, and first noticed by Twitter users all over.
Endless variations of the question “Did Twitter change its font?,” popped up in posts on the platform Thursday. And the answer is apparently “yes.” The most noticeable changes seem confined to peoples’ handles (a.k.a. the @’s), where small tweaks could be part of an effort to minimize fraudulent accounts. As a result, many users expressed frustration that identifying handles no longer looked as they’d intended.
All of the visible adjustments Gizmodo noted were related to common lookalike letters. Instead of just a straight line, like they used to be, lowercase L’s now have a small tail, distinguishing them from I’s—which have gotten their own makeover with top and bottom serifs.
Molly White, of Web3isGoingGreat also noted the change, and speculated that it could be an attempt to help minimize account impersonators. The adjusted L’s were visible in White’s handle, along with a slashed zero. For easy comparison sake, the font change appears to have not yet made it to Gizmodo’s embedded tweet display, so the difference is visible below.
Impersonator accounts have been a persistent problem on the platform since Elon Musk’s takeover, and the subsequent rollercoaster ride of changes to Twitter’s verification system.
“I’m not sure a font change, which still requires people to closely study the twitter handle, will make much of a difference, but hey it probably won’t make anything worse,” White wrote as part of her thread on the adjustments.
Although, last time Twitter changed its font, it did make things worse for lots of users. People reported headaches and eyestrain trying to read the proprietary “Chirp” font when it was first introduced in August 2021. At least this design change seems a little more confined. Especially since the site probably doesn’t have all that many staff left to respond to user complaints.