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article imageTwitter forces all of its users to have a plain background image

By James Walker     Jul 21, 2015 in Internet
Twitter has unexpectedly removed custom background images on all user profiles without any explanation of why it has made the change. Stumped users from across the world have been left staring at a blank white space where their image once was.
Many Twitter users uploaded custom background images to the site. They were also used by businesses where the image could be used to help represent a brand on Twitter.
Last night, all of that changed. Everybody's background image has disappeared, replaced by a bright, slightly blue-tinted solid white colour instead. The change is immediately noticeable and is likely to be questioned by users.
After a few hours of uncertainty, Twitter confirmed to Wired and other news sites that background images in the home and notifications sections of the site have been removed "for all users." Background images will only be visible where logged-in users can see them publicly, such as the detailed view for a tweet and on list pages. The help text for customising profiles has also changed to state that "other than your theme color, your design theme will not be visible on your profile or Home timeline."
Twitter hasn’t explained its reasoning in making such a noticeable change to the design of the site. The removal of background images from profiles seems particularly odd as users have been left reliant on header images to customise their presence on the social network.
It does create a more unified look for the site — and perhaps a better sense of community presence by removing differentiation between the profiles — but it has probably upset many who woke this morning to find their background looking decidedly bland.
TechCrunch speculate that the move may be designed to give Twitter more advertising options. The company is looking for ways to make more money and becoming more attractive to advertisers would be one easy way of doing that.
It is possible that it could begin selling full-page background adverts to companies, using your profile to promote new products. That would have been impossible when you had specifically chosen an image to display but seems more likely with the introduction of uniformity.
Perhaps Twitter may even introduce a "premium" business tier where you could pay a small fee to bring back more customisation options. Again, there is no indication of this happening anytime soon but it is easy to see how it could be appealing to business customers while allowing Twitter to grow. Removing background customisations could be the first step towards a new, more profitable Twitter.
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