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Who invented the display images?

A display image is a small image associated with an Instant messaging (IM) account. AOL Instant Messenger was the first IM program to use display images which they called ‘buddy Icons’. Now several other popular IM programs use display pictures including MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. Buddy icons for AOL Instant Messenger can be in GIF or JPEG formats. Maximum size of buddy icon image is 8 kb. Depending on the program, sometimes buddy Icons are also referred to as avatars (Yahoo) or display pictures (MSN). There's more to expressions than instant messenger. Don't hold back. Make an avatar, display picture, buddy icon, AIM buddy icon, MSN display picture and then use it in emails. Alternatively design a display picture specifically for your email – insert it as a display picture or use it in your email signature.

What do you call it?

So, does one say ‘buddy icon' ‘avatar' ‘display picture' or more specifically ‘AIM buddy icon' ‘AOL quick buddy' ‘MSN display picture'? We say – does it matter?! Use your display picture in AOL Messenger, ICQ, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger.

So here you have it. This is the official version of naming conventions:

MSN Messenger call it an msn display picture

AOL Messenger use the word buddy icon

Yahoo Messenger have two names…

           -  avatar - ‘an image that you create to represent yourself online’

           -  display images -  ‘a real picture of you so that your friends can see what you look like’

The word ‘icon’ gets used to. Sometimes that’s when people talk about images for blogs. We say, call it what you like. You’ll see that we use all the names so it everyone understands what we’re talking about.

 
   
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