Tuesday Buzz: Your Twitter Background Is Toast

The social network ditches one of its most iconic features, resulting in much user frustration. Also: Instagram adds a feature that web users have long clamored for.

Early on in Twitter’s existence, it was common to create cool background images highlighting your organization’s identity and showing off a bit of your personality.

Seems like a good idea, right? It especially was back in the day, when much of the Twitter experience took place on the web rather than on mobile.

Now, Twitter’s backing away from this once-essential branding element, hiding it from most pages and replacing it with a white background instead.

Speaking to Mashable, a company representative explained the nature of the change.

“We’re removing background images from the home and notifications timelines on web for all users,” the representative said. “Now, background images are only available where logged-in users will see them publicly (Tweet pages, list pages and collections pages).”

Twitter isn’t an especially customizable platform, but the changes take away one of the few visual choices that users had. It’s making some wonder if ads will soon be taking the place of the background images.

“One of the possibilities, and something I’ve heard, is that Twitter wants more control of their ad display experience,” says TechCrunch‘s Drew Olanoff. “For example, if the company were to want to sell a full-homepage-takeover-background-ad that you see on a lot of sites, they couldn’t. Because of your cruddy customized one.”

If the lack of background is driving you crazy, you can install this Chrome extension to bring it back.

Pleasing Instagram Fans

If you’re addicted to Instagram but tied to a desk all day, this should come in handy. On Monday, the Facebook-owned social network announced that it was adding search functionality to its website, making it easier to find interesting photos on the desktop. Previously, users had to rely on a mishmash of third-party tools to do the same thing. The word “Finally!” comes to mind.

Signs Google Plus is on the way out: The company announced yesterday that Google Plus Photos is shutting down next month, though its similarly named Google Photos is still long for this world.

Yesterday, we highlighted a suggestion that donor-focused nonprofits should consider a membership-style model for their offerings. Over at the Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Nancy Schwartz ponders the flipside of the issue.

Want to boost your event participation? In a guest post for the Event Manager Blog, author Adrian Segar breaks down a few of his best ideas.

(iStock Editorial/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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