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Twitter's removal of customer backgrounds has prompted users to wonder if adverts are set to replace them Getty Images

Twitter has angered its users by silently removing the customer backgrounds from their profiles in an overnight redesign.

Where users previously had custom, colourful wallpapers behind and to the side of their timelines – or had chosen one of several patterned designs offered by Twitter itself – they now have a faint pale-blue space.

Custom wallpapers still appear on some parts of Twitter, such as on list and collection pages. Users also still have control over their profile picture, header photo and the theme colour of their page.

A Twitter spokesperson 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 collection pages)."

The change is intended to make using Twitter a simpler and less cluttered experience by removing distractions from the content of your tweet timeline. But some cynical users are not convinced that this is the real reason. Some expect Twitter to start using this freely available space for advertisements.