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Since 3rd April 2013, logging into Gravatar now requires a WordPress.com account.

What consequences, if any, might this change create for the use of Gravatar on Stack Exchange sites?


Gravatar login screen

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"You can log in at WordPress.com using your old Gravatar account details." –  Al E. Apr 5 '13 at 15:48

4 Answers 4

up vote 25 down vote accepted

The Gravatar-to-email association is still the same; it's still calculated based on the MD5 checksum of the email address on your Stack Exchange profile, so current Gravatars on SE profiles should be unaffected. If you have a different Gravatar associated with a different email address and you want to use that Gravatar, simply change your email address in your Stack Exchange profile.

The only thing that's changed which directly affects you, is managing your emails and pictures on Gravatar.com itself. If you don't already have a WordPress.com account, you'll now have to have one in order to use Gravatar, but they've made it very easy to get a WordPress.com account if you don't already have one. This is especially if you already have a Gravatar account, because it's also a WordPress.com account! From the linked post:

You might be wondering about existing accounts and creating new accounts, and what your options are:

  • If you have a Gravatar account, it’s actually also a WordPress.com account. You can use those details to log into WordPress.com, then grant access to Gravatar.
  • If you already have a WordPress.com account, then you can use that to log into Gravatar.com now.
  • If you don’t have a WordPress.com (or Gravatar) account, you can create one for free (no need for a blog, although you can do that also if you like!) and then you can grant access to Gravatar to get started.

For what it's worth, WordPress.com is an OpenID provider as well. This means your WordPress.com or Gravatar account also doubles as an OpenID, which you can use to log in to Stack Exchange!

And finally, if you don't want to create a WordPress.com avatar, or you simply don't want to use Gravatar, remember that you can now upload an avatar directly to your Stack Exchange profile, without having to rely on an external service.

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Very thorough. Thanks. –  Lightness Races in Orbit Apr 5 '13 at 16:11
    
I was locked out of gravatar though I could log into wordpress. To fix, I had to go wordpress.com/settings/security and remove the access granted to Gravatar. Later when I tried to go back to gravatar, it prompted to give Gravatar access and then started working again. –  fschwiet Sep 23 at 8:13

Given that Stack Exchange already has a mechanism for changing profile pictures that does not depend on Gravatar, I don't see this as a big problem.

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I don't see why this would be a problem regardless of this mechanism –  Cat Plus Plus Apr 5 '13 at 15:41
    
I didn't say "it's a problem" or "you have to use Gravatar". I asked only for an analysis of how the change might affect the use of Gravatar. "You don't need to use Gravatar" is not an answer to that! :) –  Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 22 '13 at 10:05

It probably just means that if you want to change your Avatar and don't have a Wordpress account you'll have to either

  1. get a wordpress account too

  2. have to use the StackExchange avatar change

I doubt anything will happen for most people. It's not like everyone is suddenly going to lose their current avatars, the only issue will be when people want to change it.

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Your account is the same internally — not even your login details for that site have changed!

You can log in at WordPress.com using your old Gravatar account details

So, I don't see that it should be anything but transparent.

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