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July 21, 2015

Twitter faces custom background backlash

Social network pulled wallpapers, and users are enraged.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Twitter has caused a stir among its users after removing custom wallpapers from their profile pages.

The social media site quietly pulled the feature and replaced it with what some are calling a "blinding white" background, providing a uniform look across the site.

In a statement to the press, Twitter said: "We’re removing background images from the home and notifications timelines on web for all users.

"Now, background images are only available where logged-in users will see them publicly (tweet pages, list pages and collections pages)."

Reacting to the changes in typical fashion, many Twitter uses complained vociferously that the customisation had been taken from them.

Harry Shearer, an actor best known for performances in Spinal Tap and The Simpsons, wrote on the site: "Hey, Twitter. The blinding white background is clean, boring, and not what I chose. Aside from that, it’s brilliant."

Whilst Twitter did not provide full reasoning as to why it had made the move, other users speculated that it could be to clear the way for some future project.

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Rory Donnelly, an intern at marketing firm Quantcast, wrote in a personal capacity: "Although I don’t really mind this blinding white background, I’m a tad suspicious it will soon be filled with display ads."

Earlier this year Twitter revealed that it was shifting direction towards curating feeds on its site under Project Lightning, which will direct users towards events currently happening through a feature.

The move follows ongoing concerns about how the social network intends to monetise its service, the firm having reported net income losses of almost $580m during the last calendar year.

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