02 Dec Size guide for Facebook images 2016
Ever struggled to fit your favourite image into the tiny squared box of your profile picture? Ever struggled to find a picture big enough to fill your cover photo, so that your image doesn’t stretch and become distorted? We’ve all been there- and in the end had to crop out some of the best bits of our photo or deal with a very blurry cover photo on our profile page? It is irritating, but we are here to help! Over the next few weeks we will be giving you help and advice on how bet to achieve what you want on all social networks, we will cover images sizing guides for Twitter, linkedin, Google Plus and Instagram.
But to start off with below is our easy to follow and up to date guide that will help you publish the best possible photos on Facebook, so why not scroll down and take a look.
Back in the day when Facebook was first discovered, it was all about the links and text. But as time has moved on, images have taken centre stage and become essential for design and identity purposes. Likewise, sharing photos on your timeline and uploading new photos to your albums has become one of the site’s biggest appeals.
However, Facebook doesn’t like to make things easy for us, since every type of image either viewed on a profile page, a company’s page or on a timeline has its own unique size. Hence, working out what image sizes to use can be a tricky one and will most likely involve a little tweaking here and there to get the best results.
PROFILE PICTURE SIZING
So, lets begin with the profile picture.
Only a few months back, Facebook made a minor tweak to the cover photo, making it slightly narrower. But this in reverse made the profile picture slightly larger- hooray!
You’ll find the profile picture at the bottom left of your header, the square that overlaps the cover photo. It’s displayed at 168px by 168px, but you must upload an image or photo which is at least 180px by 180px (if you upload anything smaller Facebook will not accept it).
Hint: Try to use an image or photo that is already square and not rectangle for example, as this will limit the amount of cropping you will have to do on your image for it to fit the shape of the profile picture.
PROFILE PICTURE ON YOUR TIMELINE
As you may already know, your profile picture is also displayed next to your name when you comment on a post or create and publish a post yourself. The image will stay the same, but the size of it will automatically scale down to 32px by 32px.
Don’t worry, the quality of the photo won’t really change here- since it’s been scaled down and not up. The size of the thumbnail is far too small anyway to notice the detail in the photo.
Next, we have the cover photo!
You will find the cover photo at the very top of the page, the large panoramic rectangle space- you can’t miss it. As mentioned before, Facebook has just recently made the cover photo slightly narrower.
The dimensions of the cover photo are now 828px wide by 315px high. But, you must upload an image at least 400px wide and 150px high (one that’s at least 720px wide will work the best).
If you’re not fussed about a bit of cropping here and there on your cover photo, upload an image larger then these dimensions and Facebook will give you the option to move the image around to choose the crop version you want to display.
Remember: If you are uploading an image smaller then the set dimensions, Facebook will enlarge your photo to fill the area so you may be left with an image that is blurry and lower in quality.
POSTING A PHOTO ON YOUR TIMELINE
When you post an image onto your timeline, Facebook will automatically produce a thumbnail of it that is 470px by 470px. So, to use the maximum space provided, it would be advised to upload an image which is square and at least 470px in diameter.
How does it work with landscape and portrait images?
If you want to upload a landscape (horizontal) image, the width will be scaled to 470px wide and the height of the image will scale down in proportion. It will look like this:
But, if you want to upload a portrait (vertical) image, it will be scaled to 470px high and aligned left leaving blank white space to the right. The white space will appear because your image will be too narrow, and therefore won’t fill the maximum width allowed.
Remember: The narrower the image, the more white space will appear to the right of the image. See example below:
SHARING A LINK (AND THE IMAGES THAT COME WITH IT) ON FACEBOOK
With the majority of us now sharing links on to our timelines and spreading the word, it will be nice to understand how the sizing of the images associated with the links work on this too.
There are 2 different ways Facebook displays thumbnail images on shared links.
Ideally, a thumbnail that is full-width and scaled at 470px by 246px looks the best on a shared link and will have the biggest impact. It will look like this:
Keep in mind: An image size which is outside of 470px by 246px will be cropped from the bottom and top for it to fit.
However, a thumbnail link will not always display full-width. Not confirmed, but it may have something to do with the OpenGraph image property (og:image tag) and whether or not the page your linking has this tag embedded. Facebook looks for this tag, which specifies the image that should be used, so if not found the image will automatically resize. It may also have something to do with the images size (too small) or its orientation.
So, if this is the case, Facebook will instead display your image in a small thumbnail to the left of the links text. The dimensions for this thumbnail are 158px by 158px. It will look like this:
Remember: Your image will be cropped to fit these smaller dimensions.
But, what’s great about sharing a link on Facebook, is the option you get to change the image associated with the link if you do not the original one. Hint: If you haven’t already got the OpenGraph tag embedded, add it! So, as long as your picture is big enough the image will be displayed full-width.