Twitter changed its font, and there might be a very good reason for it

Twitter has a slightly different font on the web.

I wouldn’t have noticed; the difference is fairly small compared to the old one (The Verge(Opens in a new window) was the first to report on the change). In fact, as pointed out by NiemanLab’s Joshua Benton(Opens in a new window), the font itself hasn’t changed; it’s still Twitter’s own font called Chirp(Opens in a new window), but now it uses OpenType stylistic sets to make it easier to differentiate characters that are typically very similar, such as capital I and lowercase L, and zero (which now has a diagonal line over it) and o.

These changes are only visible in Twitter handles, which is arguably where they’re most useful, as they make it easier to differentiate real from fake accounts. Remember the endless variants of @e10nmusk prompting you to buy cryptocurrency? Now those swindlers will be easier to spot.

Oddly enough, the change isn’t yet visible on mobile (see example below), though we reckon it’s just a matter of time.

Polygon Twitter

Top: Web version of Twitter with the new font. Bottom: Twitter on the iPhone. Notice the slashed ‘0’ in ‘0xPolygon’
Credit: Stan Schroeder/Twitter

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This is not the first time Twitter has made changes to the font it uses. Chirp replaced Segoe UI(Opens in a new window) in Jan. 2021, and the company has used a number of different fonts(Opens in a new window) throughout its history.

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This latest font change, however, gives hope that someone at Twitter really is trying to reduce spam and impersonations on the platform, as Elon Musk promised before he took over.

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