Facebook dimensions-01

Guide for Ideal Facebook Image Dimensions

Back in the days when Facebook was launched, it was pretty much limited to only links and texts;

Introduction

Back in the days when Facebook was launched, it was pretty much limited to only links and texts; but as it has evolved, the importance of images has kept on increasing. Pictures are now a vital part of designs and identity on the user interface, for example, your cover photo or profile picture. Images are also part of galleries and posts on the timeline. Facebook photos have become an essential part of the site’s appeal even though there are other dedicated image applications such as Instagram and Snapchat. In this guide, we tell you about the ideal dimensions of images that you upload on Facebook so that you do not have to worry about inadequate settings or stretched pictures.

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Facebook Cover Photo Size

Your Facebook cover photo is that big panoramic picture at the very top of your timeline. The size of timeline cover photo is 640px by 360px on smartphones, and 820px by 312px on desktop. The cover photo you put on your timeline should be at least 150px tall and 399px wide. An even better idea is to keep it 624px tall and 1640px wide.

Only a single image can be designated as your cover photo – it can be a simple crop while panoramas are ideal. Moreover, you can also create a collage in an imaging software, and put it up as a single image file on your timeline.

If you are new to Facebook and have just created your profile, click on the button “Add Cover Photo” at the space on top where your cover photo will show. You will see a message box, click “Okay”.

When you have added a cover photo, it is an easy task to change it. You have to log in to your account and go to the Timeline view. You will see a camera icon at the bottom right side of your cover photo, take your cursor there and you’ll get a link to “change photo”. You can use the same menu if you wish to remove or reposition the image.

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Facebook Profile Picture Size

Your profile picture is the smaller, square image at the bottom left of the cover photo. Earlier, the profile picture used to overlay the bottom left corner of the cover photo, but now, it has its own place at the top left side of the timeline page. Facebook crops your profile picture to a square, regardless of what size or shape you upload. On smartphones, it appears 128px by 128px and on computers, it is 170px by 170px.

There is an option for you to crop the image in case the one you upload is not square already. In order to change your profile image, hover the small camera icon at the bottom of profile picture space and select “change image”.

If the image, after Facebook has downsized it, looks blurry to you, then upload an image that is double the size of the downsized picture, i.e. an image of size 340px by 340px. You will most probably see a sharper result.

Profile Picture on the Timeline

The same profile picture is used next to your name on posts and comments, but Facebook scales it down to 40px square.

Shared Link Thumbnails

The new Facebook layout has improved on the previous version of shared link thumbnail images. The basic layout contains a single image of size 476px by 249px. An added feature is that you can add multiple thumbnails, each linked to the URL you share. They are viewed as a horizontal carousel, having squares of 300px by 300px.

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One Photo on the Timeline

When you upload a photo to your timeline, Facebook generates a thumbnail to fit in a box that is approximately 74px tall and 476px wide. Therefore, if you want to make the maximum use of the available space, upload a portrait image that with a 3:2 ratio.

A landscape picture will be scaled to 476px and it will retain its shape. One type of rectangle is in landscape orientation in the ratio of 3:2. You will see the full area of the image. Another type is a narrower aspect ratio such as panorama or banner. The width will still be 476px and the picture will be scaled for the whole image area to appear.

If you upload a picture that is tall rather than wide, Facebook will crop it to be 476px by 714px; and if you upload a squared picture, the whole picture with the width at 476px will appear.

Full-Width Photos on the Timeline

The photos you upload on your timeline now show in a single column only, hence you cannot make images wider than that column.

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Conclusion

With so many ways of sharing images on the site, there is a great confusion about what image sizes should be used on Facebook and when to use them. There is some struggle involved, in order to get the best results and effects. The different types of pictures on a profile, page and timeline have their own characteristics and sizes and Facebook has never really assisted users for this purpose as the help pages are not very easy to find.

Another interesting part is that there is no fixed rule as Facebook keeps changing things frequently, even if it is only an incremental, minute tweak. Other times the changes are quite significant, for example when it introduced timelines and when they changed to one column from two columns. Hence there are always new things just around the corner, which looks more like a moving target. This guide presents to you the ideal image dimensions that you should use for uploading pictures to Facebook in 2017.

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About George Mastorakis

George is a co-founder of Mentionlytics supervising Financial Planning and Analysis and our Cloud Architecture. He is an Associate Professor on Emerging Technologies and Marketing Innovation. His interests include Cloud Computing, Web Applications and Internet of Things.