Why the same icons repeat on that cool Washington Post Twitter graphic marking 1 million Twitter followers
The Washington Post
As The Washington Post's Twitter account neared its millionth follower, social media editor Mark Luckie found a use for a template he'd had kicking around for a while: A nifty animated mosaic that would let him pay tribute to the site's followers by incorporating their avatars into a trippy, endlessly clickable portrait.
I wanted to know how he did it. But first I wanted to know why I keep seeing the same two women over and over.
Reached by email, Luckie says it's not a conspiracy, and I'm not going nuts. There just aren't a million Twitter avatars in the graphic. "I tweaked the animated mosaic template to pull a sampling of 400 of our Twitter followers (not the total million, which would be unmanageable file-wise)," he writes. "The hand-curated photos were resized and run through a program that identified the dominant color of each avatar. The reason why you see the black and pink avatars more frequently is that there are few avatars from our followers that have that dominant color palette."
Luckie says the graphic was intended to do something special: "We really wanted to honor our followers with more than just a self-promotional tweet marking the milestone," he writes.