Round Profile Pictures Are Coming To Facebook
We are back with yet another small adjustment that could change Facebook as we know it. We recently wrote about Facebook now allowing pages to use videos in lieu of their cover image, a move that was in line with Facebook’s goal of increasing engagement, specifically between users and businesses (the cover video feature is still only available to business pages). The next change to Facebook will have the same goal in mind, with an increased focus on user experience. Here is what we know so far about Facebook changing page’s profile pictures to circles when they show in user’s news feeds.
Why The Change
Although no official announcement has come from Facebook, the change has been rumored for some time. Back in June, Twitter decided to switch from square profile pictures to circular ones. The change was a minor one that was even mocked by the ever brutal internet, but Twitter made the change with the goal of making users’ timelines more visually pleasing and easier to see who is saying what. Check out Twitter’s official announcement of their changes, with the most notable for users being the new circle profile pictures. Social media, like many other industries, has proven to be a copycat world where one platform often follows the lead of another. For example, Snapchat had stories, so Instagram, quickly followed by Facebook, adopted a similar story feature. Rounded profile pictures have been a favorite of Instagram for some time, so Facebook adopting the change only makes sense. Another driving force behind the change is of course the steadily increasing number of primarily mobile users. Facebook hopes that round profile photos in the news feed will put an end to users squinting at their phone trying to see exactly what a page’s profile picture is. Although we don’t know a lot about exactly what rounded profile pictures will mean, it is easy to see why Facebook is making the change.
How It Will Work
Despite the lack of an official announcement, there are still some things we do know about the latest change coming to Facebook. Posts that are both paid (ads) and organic will have a circular profile picture next to them in both mobile and desktop news feeds. However, the rounded profile pictures will only appear in the news feed. This means that Facebook page’s profile pictures will still show in the same square format when a user visits a page that they always have. The rollout of this feature will happen in a similar way as the Twitter roll out of round profile pictures. Facebook is applying a circle overlay to existing profile pictures that will only appear in the news feed. How this overlay will look and the recommended dimensions for adjusting profile pictures is not yet known, but it could create some confusion for page admins and advertisers.
What It Means For Advertisers & Page Admins
This change could present some short term problems for anyone advertising or managing Facebook pages. You will need to be sure that your profile picture shows correctly in the rounded form in the news feed as well as the traditional square form for the page. This could create a challenge as you will have to have a profile picture that is visually pleasing in both a square and circle. If advertisers and admins do not adjust they could run the risk of having posts with a distorted profile picture, which could decrease engagement and hurt your brand image on Facebook.
What To Expect Next
Some advertisers and admins will start hearing about the feature in the coming days. Facebook has said they will start to release the feature to page admins on 8/15 so they can see if their profile picture will show correctly in a rounded form before the change to the news feed goes live. A week after this, so likely the week of 8/22, circle profile pictures in the news feed will likely become live on Facebook. For the time being, admins and advertisers can use this tool to see if their current Facebook profile picture will work in the new rounded format. It is a great idea to check your profile pictures as soon as you can as the official roll out could be a little hectic if you have all of your page’s profile pictures resize incorrectly at one time. We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available, so be sure to check back to stay up to date!