Round Profile Pictures Are Coming To Facebook

 In Blog, Facebook, Social Media

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!  

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Showing 7 comments
  • Clarence "prokchop" Dupree
    Reply

    How on earth did FB deice NOT to make this an optional thing? Many business users will find it impossible to use the round format with their logos on Pages. It’s amazing this could not be a matter of choice. What’s the purpose of the enforced conformity?

    • Randy Esling
      Randy Esling
      Reply

      Hey Clarence, long term it will definitely be a positive, but it is an inconvenience especially since you do not have a choice. Facebook likely wanted to keep the news feed uniform so people are not scrolling and seeing circles and squares on different posts.

  • Fritzie
    Reply

    HATE the stupid round Facebook profile pics. HATE HATE HATE !!!

    • Randy Esling
      Randy Esling
      Reply

      We can definitely see how frustrating it can be to have to do so much image resizing! But, it should make the news feed, especially on mobile, a little more user friendly

  • Erika Chalker
    Reply

    totally agree. Personally I don´t really care and a circle probably suits most personal pics but for businesses it sucks. I can´t tell you how many pages I´ve seen now where I can´t read the name or the logo is so small it´s ilegible. Stupid and really who says it looks better. In whose opinion? I note there are a lot of squares on this page and it looks “visually pleasing” to me. If they were all changed to circles would that improve the page´s appearance?

  • Ty
    Reply

    The round thingy is ridiculous. It looks much worse. Before you could actually see the person in the photo. Now it crops it out and just looks really bad. Facebook just keeps getting worse and worse. I mean who sits around in their ridiculous lame ass little board meetings dreaming up this nonsense?

  • Philip Knight
    Reply

    As a former graphic designer, this “new and improved” round version is idiotic. It is major cropping that has absolutely no practical purpose – it’s a nuisance. For instance, I run an NGO Community Awareness Page and specifically designed the page’s logo to include as much info — including phone number for donations. It is now November 2017 and it’s confusing for I see that page suddenly revert back to square profile pic for no apparent reason. For now. I have no idea if visitors see it as round or square. For personal FB pages, it forces people to either re-center or crop their image or have existing profile pics look strange, incomplete, off-composed. LEAVE GOOD ENOUGH ALONE.

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