Word on the street is that Millennials love to customize things – go figure. I remember my first cellphone in 1999, and the hundreds of ringtones I created for it. And my GPS in 2005, for which I spent six hours creating unique turn-by-turn directions in my own voice. And when I got bored of hearing myself give directions, I downloaded Homer Simpson's voice to guide me along.
Don't even get me started on MySpace, where it was absolutely crucial for people to make sure the song playing on their page was representative of their mood at the time. Going through a breakup? Check her MySpace song. Make up? Check it again in twenty minutes. Gosh. I believe the song I chose to express myself was … "Peanut Butter Jelly Time."
So naturally, when I first got my @username, I wanted a custom Twitter background. Don't we all? Don't you?
I can think of three types of users who typically use custom Twitter backgrounds (myself included):
1. Professionals (or businesses) who think their bio simply does not have enough space and they want to list every single way to contact them on the left side of the page. They use a background to add text to their profile and probably a big logo too.
- 17 Examples of Twitter Brand Page Backgrounds to Inspire You offers some cool examples of brands who have spiffed up their page.
- How to Design a Custom Twitter Background will give you dimensions and step-by-step instructions on how to build your own background in Photoshop.
2. Creative types who try to do fun, unique things with their header background versus their profile picture versus their actual background. They chop up their images in a way that offer some cool effect. And then everybody copies them and the fun is over.
- 10 Twitter Header Images Done Right will give you a few examples of how to place a head on a header background and make it look cool.
3. Newbies (and oldies) who see a blank canvas and think: I can't use these default backgrounds! I'm no sheep! And then go on to spend the next two hours finding the absolute perfect background to represent themselves to the strangers who happen up on their page. It's not unlike choosing the perfect MySpace song.
- The Twitter Backgrounds Tumblr is a perfect place to seek out cute, fun and quirky backgrounds that you can tile (repeat) in the background of your page. They even have specific categories for hipster backgrounds and vintage backgrounds.
- ColourLovers Themelion app is pretty fun too. It asks you to log in to your Twitter account and will help you build a background in the app that you can then upload to Twitter.
- BackgroundLabs is one of the few sites that has themes that work with Twitter's latest redesign.
And once you've decided you need a custom background there are things to think about, like … what color should your font be to match your background? Does your profile photo mesh well with the patterns? Does the background hurt your eyes when you look at it? And possibly more important, for the adolescent types: is it a background that will get you hired? Or fired?
Keep all of those things in mind. Twitter gave you the freedom to customize your background, but that doesn't mean you have to run around using every color in the rainbow, or defaulting to a giant photo of the keg stand you did last summer.
I hope this list minimized your woes about choosing the perfect Twitter background that is exactly right for you. Some of them might require a little Photoshop savvy. If you design your own, try to design for 2500 x 2000 which should satisfy even the largest computer monitors.