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Facebook Cover Photos: Practically Speaking

By Heshy Friedman

What is a Facebook Cover Photo?

Facebook has a new feature called a cover photo, which is a large photo at the top of your timeline, right above your profile picture. The cover was implemented by Facebook to individualize your page and give a quick identification. A cover photo differs from the profile picture, which is the picture that friends see next to your name everywhere on the site. For example, the profile picture would be a logo for a company, and the cover photo would be a masthead.


Why a Cover Photo is Important

Since Facebook implemented the cover photo and timeline in March, these features are being used throughout Facebook and part of their “New Look” campaign. This has now become the standard, and all companies with Facebook pages should make sure to have one.


The Cover Challenge

One of the challenges of the Facebook cover photo is that it places the profile photo directly on top of the cover, partially covering it. What often happens is that part of the cover photo has graphic text in that spot which will now be covered by the profile photo and will look strange. In this case, a graphic artist will need to resize the cover photo to ensure the spot that the profile sits on will be blank. On April 27, 2012, we noticed that Facebook increased the size of the profile photo on the timeline page, thereby cutting off profile cover photos that were already resized to fit in. This indeed required many to graphically alter their cover photo to accommodate for the new Facebook size requirements.


Practically Speaking

The easiest way to get a custom cover photo without any overlap issues is to have a professional Web Development such as Radial Web create one for you. If you want to do it on your own, make sure to keep the following pixels in mind: The profile photo will start at approximately 25 pixels to the left, and go until 192 pixels on the right. From the top, it will start at 65 pixels down from the top. As far as the dimensions, here are the official guidelines from Facebook: Cover photos are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If you upload an image that’s smaller than these dimensions, it will get stretched to this larger size. The image you upload must be at least 399 pixels wide. To get the best quality image and fastest load times for your Page, upload an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes.

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