Adam Prescott

Favicons over time

All is impermanent. Except, perhaps, favicon.ico. Owing to the nature of browser address bars and bookmarks — hey, remember bookmarks? — /favicon.ico is one of the few paths that will work on any website you pick. So by grabbing old versions from snapshots in The Wayback Machine, you can see how the image has changed over time across popular sites. By picking the popular sites, you can also get a feel for how frequently they change.

So here’s a bunch, just because.

Amazon has only had two, although the newer one from 2008 doesn’t actually feel all that dated.

amazon.com-20010601-favicon.ico amazon.com-20081201-favicon.ico

eBay changed to the current icon of a shopping bag in late 2012. If I were shown this icon and had to guess which website it came from, I don’t think I’d know.

ebay.com-20061001-favicon.ico ebay.com-20080201-favicon.ico ebay.com-20121101-favicon.ico

Wikipedia went from being a werewolf site to an encyclopedia in 2003.

wikipedia.org-20010101-favicon.ico wikipedia.org-20031001-favicon.ico wikipedia.org-20130501-favicon.ico

AOL has spun into a wondrous, irregular pentagon over time.

www.aol.com-20031101-favicon.ico www.aol.com-20050301-favicon.ico www.aol.com-20090901-favicon.ico www.aol.com-20121101-favicon.ico

Yahoo is trampolining its way to purple glory.

yahoo.com-19970101-favicon.ico yahoo.com-20060301-favicon.ico yahoo.com-20080201-favicon.ico yahoo.com-20091001-favicon.ico yahoo.com-20130701-favicon.ico yahoo.com-20131001-favicon.ico


Some others I grabbed, included because they span reasonable time ranges.

Google (changed in 2008, 2009, 2012).

google.com-19970101-favicon.ico google.com-20080701-favicon.ico google.com-20090301-favicon.ico google.com-20120901-favicon.ico

Gmail (changed in 2012).

mail.google.com-20040101-favicon.ico mail.google.com-20121101-favicon.ico

Microsoft (changed in 2012).

microsoft.com-20061101-favicon.ico microsoft.com-20120901-favicon.ico

Wordpress (changed in 2008, 2009, 2010 twice, 2011, 2012 twice, 2013).

wordpress.com-20000101-favicon.ico wordpress.com-20080301-favicon.ico wordpress.com-20090701-favicon.ico wordpress.com-20100901-favicon.ico wordpress.com-20101201-favicon.ico wordpress.com-20111001-favicon.ico wordpress.com-20120801-favicon.ico wordpress.com-20121201-favicon.ico wordpress.com-20130101-favicon.ico

Has Craigslist ever had a redesign?

www.craigslist.org-20080701-favicon.ico

Apple (changed in 2012).

www.apple.com-20021101-favicon.ico www.apple.com-20120101-favicon.ico