Why did Twitter remove my background?

Me: OK, a joke’s a joke. Put it back, Twitter.

Twitter: Put what back?

Me: My background!

Twitter: I haven’t got your background.

Me: Yes you have you digital trickster.

Twitter: OK, I have. But don’t worry about it. You don’t pay for the service and we own everything you do.

Me: Fair point. But you could’ve just said that before.

Twitter: Yes, sorry. (Not sorry.)

Picture of a bird saying your background is toast

Adaption of Birdy by formatbrain (CC BY 2.0)

As you may have seen, Twitter has been quietly removing wallpaper from profile pages. “We’re removing background images from the home and notifications timelines on web for all users,” a Twitter spokesperson told the Telegraph. “Now, background images are only available where logged-in users will see them publicly…”

So, the custom Twitter background that you’ve carefully cultivated for your business will only appear when you view a tweet on the tweet’s page, or list and collection pages. Its replacement? An uninspiring, slightly greyish white background. Woo!

Why has Twitter made these changes? No one knows for sure, but the Telegraph suggests it may be part of Twitter transforming itself from a social network into a curated news service, an initiative dubbed Project Lightning.

This service aims to curate and aggregate people’s tweets in one place so users and non-users (no need to log in) can follow live events. The Telegraph (yep, you could have just read their article on it but you’ve stuck with me so far) thinks these new, essentially blank, backgrounds could serve as advertising space – but Twitter hasn’t confirmed this.

You can find out more about customising your Twitter account’s design by visiting their help center. While you’re there you could ask them to return your background… nicely.

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