“Twittar” Twitter Avatar Plugin

Smashing Magazine has released an interesting WordPress plugin called “Twittar.” The plugin, named for “Twitter Avatar,” is used in place of WordPress’s Gravatar template tag. When a comment is displayed, the plugin will check to see if the email address left matches a Twitter account, and will add the user’s avatar to the comment. Should they not have a Twitter account, it will check for a Gravatar instead.

This is an interesting idea, though some users have commented upon the plugin’s performance. It’s not terribly efficient, making two HTTP requests per comment server-side, and then the client loads the image. A solution is being considered, probably some sort of caching.

I quite like the idea, though I think it should have the option of changing the order of precedence for the avatars, so Gravatars could be favored over Twitter avatars. My Twitter avatar is the same as my Gravatar, but since Gravatars are more known for being “comment avatars,” it makes sense that some people would expect their Gravatar to load instead of their Twitter picture.