Programs: Marriot Plat Elite, AA EXP, Nat Exec Elite
Avatars are a retarded cartoon representation of how cool you wish you were. This is NOT the place for juvenile trinkets like that. Now being able to put a little pic of yourself in your profile would be OK. Then other FTers could see you in airports and say "hey how are ya?" or "oh you're that jerk!"
Location: Massachusetts, USA; AA Plat (2.85MM) and BA Silver (OW Sapphire); DL SM and Flying Colonel
This was discussed ages ago. FT's underlying software (the same as SQ Talk uses) can do it, and has been able to for several releases now. The consensus was that given the size of FT, the number of members, the volume of posts and so on, the value of sending those graphics didn't justify the bandwidth. The trade-offs might be different for a more focused board with less traffic. (SQ Talk's under-1,800 members are about 1 percent of FT's membership. It's a whole different situation.)
Unless someone can demonstrate value beyond some people's desire to see little pictures of themselves, their pets, or their favorite aircraft, I doubt this will change. Bandwidth ain't free, storage ain't free, and we don't pay for FT.