You may or may not have noticed, but your Twitter wallpaper has been removed.
Don’t worry, you are not been investigated by a shady government agency, and you haven’t broken any of Twitter’s guidelines. It is simply a new initiative by the social network to give all accounts the same white background, and they’ve removed all pre-set and customised wallpapers from all profiles in order to roll it out.
At this point, you’re probably thinking “Why?” and many others took to Twitter to complain, and to find out what the reasoning was behind this move. So far, no exact reason has been given, but it is suspected that it is part of Twitter’s move towards becoming a curated news service rather than a social network, something that many users (the ones who don’t spend all day telling One Direction and Taylor Swift how much they love them) already use it for.
Here are some of the comments regarding the background removal:
twitter got rid of background wallpaper but i loved mine so much pic.twitter.com/C98ChT1fxQ
— Kate Beaton (@beatonna) July 21, 2015
When Twitter came for my profile background, I said nothing. Because really, who cares? — Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror) July 22, 2015
well twitter took down my background image, so now i guess i gotta put it at the end of every tweet i do from now on pic.twitter.com/cqjlAvdBSg
— Griffin McElroy (@griffinmcelroy) July 22, 2015
If you don’t fancy being part of the white background brigade, you can restore your background by heading to Settings >> Design and then upload your Background Image again. However, if you sign out and back in again, you are likely to lose it again. Folks who use the app on their smartphones – and are therefore more likely to stay logged in – will keep the background once it’s uploaded.
The move from social network to a curated news service has been on Twitter’s agenda for some time, and the initiative is known as Project Lightning. This piece from The Telegraph details the move, and it is a welcome one. Many Twitter users who aren’t really interested in the social side needed another reason to keep using the service, and Project Lightning is that reason to stay.
Project Lightning was first released in June and aims to help users curate and gather together Tweets and content that is relevant to them in one place. This will make it incredibly easy for users to follow live events, such as conferences, sporting events, and more. It’s a great plan, as anyone who has spent more than five minutes on Twitter knows that the News Feed can be awash with nothing. At least Project Lightning will bring focus to it.
The rumor mill is saying that Twitter is planning to deliver ads alongside the curated content, similar to how Facebook uses ads based on what you have ‘Liked’ and have been reading. Twitter has not outwardly stated that they plan to do this, but the opportunity is certainly there to monetise this new content-based initiative if it chooses to.
What do you think about Project Lightning, and the removal of your background images? Are you a 1D fan who doesn’t care about news and curated content, or are you planning to use Twitter more now that you know there is more to the service than a simple social network? Let us know in the comments below.