One of the nicer things about Twitter is how it allowed its users to express their uniqueness and personality, like letting users add a background image, where they were free to put up whatever they wanted. That’s all come to a screeching halt, as Twitter removed background images from user profiles, timelines, and notifications pages, according to CNET. The move came without warning, buzz, or speculation, and it’s left a number of its users really upset.
What’s piquing user anger is that, without background images, profile pages now look drab and dull, with only a blank background that fails to inspire or attract the eye.
However, something else is contributing to user anger as well: Twitter still lets users opt to add a background image, but without it appearing afterward.
Here’s a sampling of the disgruntled user response to Twitter’s decision that caught virtually everyone off-guard.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) July 21, 2015
This begs the question of why Twitter would even mess with its background images. Arguably, this was one of the more popular features of the site, as it allowed users to personalize their accounts to make them stand out from anyone else’s on the site.
According to Mashable, Twitter isn’t making its agenda known, instead merely confirming that it had indeed removed background images. If users have any questions about their profile or customizing their profile designs, they can check out Twitter’s help center content for more information.
Perhaps it’s a way to deal with copyright issues or it wants to prep the space for advertising, but without an official comment from Twitter explaining its actions, it’s impossible to speculate about the company’s reasons. However, it’s virtually impossible to think that Twitter couldn’t foresee the thus-far negative reaction to what amounts to deleting one of its more popular features.
Time will tell if users forgive Twitter for this anti-personalization move, but it certainly doesn’t come at a great time, when Twitter’s user growth has been stagnant at best.