Where to Find a Great Photo for New Facebook Timeline Profile
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
December 15 2011 05:20 PM ET
CREDIT: Kate Spade on Facebook
Facebook has finally begun rolling out its Timeline, and the first challenge for users is to find a photo worthy of spanning the newly redesigned profile pages.
The Timeline, a running history of a user’s Facebook updates and important events, was introduced in September but limited to Facebook app developers. Now it’s open to the world. Facebook has built in a 7-day grace period. Once Timeline is available on profiles, account holders will have a week to make any modifications before new profiles become visible.
While some Facebookers will be scrambling to delete old posts that have been automatically included in the timeline — making them visible to all friends — the common hurdle for all users will be to select a photo for banner placement. The photo will measure 854 pixels wide and 323 pixels tall.
Facebook will automatically resize a selected cover photo, but small photos will look grainy when magnified to that size.
Facebook users can choose a photo that’s already in one of their Facebook albums or upload a new photo from their computers. To check the size of a photo that’s stored on a computer, right click the image and select “Properties,” select the “Details” tab to see the size that will be shown in pixels (the number of dots in the array of points that make the photo). Most photos taken with a digital camera will be big enough to display well, but those from a mobile phone may be too small.
The Facebook cover photo will be about three times as wide as it is tall, so you should hunt for a photo that will look good even if only a strip of it appears in the new layout. Scenic shots work well. Remember, your main profile photo will be inset in the left-hand corner of the cover photo, so you’ll want the two photos to complement each other.
Once it’s in place on Facebook, the photo can be repositioned. Hover over the right-hand corner of the photo to reveal “Change Cover.” Click to reveal a dropdown menu that lets you upload, reposition and delete photos. (If you plan to try out a number of photos, you may want to delete the automatic updates to your timeline documenting each change.)
What if you don’t have your own photo for the cover? In most cases, you must have permission from the owner of a photo to use it without infringing on copyrights. However, there are available photos that don’t require permission or a fee to use. Instead of copyrights, they have Creative Commons licenses. Try Flickr, where millions of photos are uploaded by amateurs and professionals. Type in a search term — favorite vacation spot, hobby or item — and then select “Advanced search.” At the bottom of the page, select “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content .” When you find one you like, you can choose an appropriate size and download it.
Some forward-thinking companies are already offering cover-ready photos. For instance, Kate Spade on Facebook has begun posting themed cover photos for downloading along with its mobile phone backgrounds and computer wallpapers.