Your Facebook page has a new face.
Here’s the updated Facebook photos size guide and our roundup of favorite features.
Facebook started rolling out “a streamlined look for pages” back in March of 2014. Aside from taking a little getting used to, the updated page is already making it easier for us to quickly access our admin tools. We also appreciate that Facebook’s new layout acknowledges that photos and videos make up a major part of the site’s appeal and success by featuring them more prominently.
Optimizing Photos for Updated Pages:
Facebook has never made controlling your visual identity as easy as it could be. Picking and aligning photos has always taken some trial and error. If you were just getting used to how each type of image was presented differently on a page, profile or timeline, we feel your pain.
The good news is that the new page layout will be familiar to you, since it now shares the two column look of personal profiles. The top navigation, cover and profile photos have changed slightly, but remain atop all pages. Now, all of the page’s posts appear in the right column and the left column centralizes important information about your brand.
The page name, category and a few buttons have moved onto the cover photo’s turf. In order to insure readability, Facebook has applied a dark gradient over the bottom of all cover photos. While this doesn’t please most of the graphic designers and social media managers we know, we like seeing more of our page appear before the fold.
Note in the example above, that the profile photo is displayed at 160px by 160px. Despite this, you must upload an image at least 180px by 180px. We recommend uploading larger images to accomodate higher resolution displays. You can upload a non-square image and then crop the image with their photo editor.
Timeline vs. Newsfeed Image Sizes
When posting images, keep in mind that the same image will be cropped to fit in different settings around the site. On your page’s timeline, square images will display best (504px by 504px), but they will also be cropped to a horizontal shape (472px by 394px) in your friends’ newsfeeds. A person will have to click on the image and leave their newsfeed to see the entire thing in a full screen setting. At this size, the image can be cropped oddly, leaving out important or contextual details, or cutting out someone’s middle and leaving their head out of the photo, so take a careful look at the preview and adjust as needed.
A small change that foreshadows some major change, Facebook recently incorporated an autoplay feature for Instagram, Vine, and Facebook videos in your newsfeed. We noticed that scrolling down over the video starts it automatically, and then scrolling past it pauses it. After fielding some complaints, Facebook introduced a feature that allows you to turn off the autoplay, but this feature smacks of something larger in Facebook’s future.Facebook already reaches audiences larger than the biggest broadcast networks during primetime. With a captive audience in front of their friend’s newsfeeds and with opportunities for sponsored content dropped directly into autoplay windows, Facbook has an opportunity for massive amounts of video advertising. And with the gradual introduction of a mobile-based carousel that continuously suggests related videos, much like YouTube, the new video interface could encourage much longer watch times and more passive video watching.
Again, this is an instance in which images show up differently in newsfeed versus your timeline. In the newsfeed, your shared links will show up slightly smaller, at 472 x 246. The larger photos mean that mobile users are subjected to a more predominantly visual layout, which gives more preference to user-generated content like photos and videos. This also means for marketers that your meta descriptions need to be clean, because they are what appear in the blurb underneath the featured photo. And for those that haven’t gotten into the swing yet, it also means that no content is complete without an eye-catching visual.
Finally, for events, there is a slightly new look that deviates from the randomly suitable thumbnail that some of us tend to upload. The entire image is 784 by 295, taking up the upper part of the event page above the fold for a large visual representation of whatever will be happening. Keep in mind that the event title is superimposed over the lower part of the cover photo in white text, so avoid competing copy or light colored images. If there is a face in the cover photo, the thumbnail view will
focus on the face present and adjust the events list thumbnail and advertisement view accordingly.
The new Facebook shows a marked dedication to expanding visual content offerings and making them more appealing for users. The larger photo dimensions in the newsfeeds and timelines are good news for marketers – a sponsored post with a large, engaging visual will blend better into the newsfeed and have a chance of greater engagement. It also means that video content has a real place to grow on the social networking platform – dare we say it could be competitive with YouTube?