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Facebook Guidelines on Timeline Cover Image

Samyak Lalit | March 24, 2012 (Last update: September 22, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

With the arrival new Timeline profile format, now you are able to use two photos on your profile. The big one is called the “cover photo” and the smaller one is called “profile picture”. Because the cover image is quite prominent due of its size –many people have begun to misuse cover photos. To discourage such things, Facebook has laid down a few official guidelines for cover photos. Let’s see what these guidelines are and how you should make a good cover photo for your Facebook profile or page:

  • Cover image may not
    • Contain price or discount related information (e.g. “Sale”, “30% off”)
    • Ask people to purchase things (e.g. “Download it from our website”)
    • Contain contact details that are meant for the “About” section of your profile
    • Contain any reference to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features. (e.g. you cannot ask people to like your page)
    • Contain calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
    • Contain arrows or other pointers to Facebook site features (e.g. Like button)
  • Cover image should be at least 399 pixels wide (see the ideal size of Timeline images)
  • All the cover images are public –anyone can see them
  • Cover image must not contain copyrighted stuff. It must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property
  • You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines

To create correct and some great looking cover photos, I would advice that you stick to these guidelines. If all of us will follow guidelines, we will have a more visually soothing Facebook experience. Flaunting guidelines would only create a messy Facebook. Let’s try and avoid it!

I hope this was useful for you. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions on this topic. I will be happy to try and help you. Thank you for using TechWelkin.


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