Gravatar stands for globally recognized avatar. It’s a service that allows a user to create an image that serves as an identifier for them all over the internet. Many sites use the Gravatar service to identify users, and Gravatar boasts 8.6 billion images served each day. In order for the Gravatar to display, the website you’re connecting to has to have Gravatars implemented. Github, Hootsuite, Disqus, WordPress.com, and most WordPress.org sites are using Gravatar.
A History of Gravatars
Gravatar was Automattic’s first acquisition in 2009. The service was originally created by Tom Werner. At the time there were 115,000 Gravatar users. WordPress.com’s own avatar system had 1,000,000 users. As of WordPress version 2.5, using these portable avatars has been baked right into the system and the number of users has exponentially grown ever since.
Signing Up for a Gravatar
Signing up for a Gravatar is easy. If you already have a WordPress.com account you may already have a Gravatar setup as the two services are linked (as well as the Akismet service, if you’re using that). Just navigate to the Gravatar home page and sign in. If you don’t have a WordPress.com account you can click the “need an account?” to sign up. Once you have an account you can upload an image and crop it as needed.
You can have multiple images and multiple emails allowing you to configure several different Gravatars all at once. In order to make use of the correct Gravatar you’ll need to use the matching email address when you’re commenting or posting on a site that has the feature enabled.
It’s worth the time to fill out the rest of your profile on the Gravatar site. This can give some greater context into who you are and what you do. Make sure that your information is consistent (and contains only items you want to share) with your other profiles online. Just like Navin R. Johnson you want you “be somebody,” sign up for your Gravatar account today.
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