Facebook Home screen shot via Business Insider

This is a trend article.

circular avatar arises when all user avatars or profile pictures are cropped or masked to a circular shape.


  1. Popularised by the seminal iOS-focused social network Path in 2010 or 2011.
  2. Adopted by Apple in OS X Lion (?).
  3. Co-opted by Google for Google+, where it went along with their circular theme (groups of friends there are called “Circles”).
  4. Facebook uses them heavily in their “Facebook Home” project, especially in “Chat Heads” which make their way to Facebook for iOS and elsewhere. However, Facebook avatars are still usually square.