Facebook cover photo rules

Facebook Page Guidelines: The rules have changed for cover photos...again

When we posted last week about 5 mistakes that will get your Facebook Page deleted, we missed something. Thanks to our friend Shawna, at ReSoMe, we learned that sometime between December 20th and March 13th, Facebook updated their Page Guidelines and threw marketers a little bone.

The 20% rule went into effect in December

Way back on December 20th, Inside Facebook wrote about the recent addition of a 20% text rule, which included these quotes from the Facebook Page guidelines:

Pages Terms Section III.B reads:

Covers may not include:

i.    images with more than 20% text;

ii.    price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;

iii.    contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;

iv.    references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or

v.    calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

But wait…something more has changed since December

When we wrote about the rules that can get your page deleted, these are the guidelines we included. However, when Shawna sent a message to say that they’d been changed, I jumped over to see how:

Section III.B now states:

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines. Covers may not include images with more than 20% text.

The Help Center has been updated as well:

What are the guidelines for my Page’s cover photo?

Use a unique image that represents your Page. This might be a photo of a popular menu item, album artwork or a picture of people using your product. Be creative and experiment with images your audience responds well to.

All cover photos are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the cover photo. Cover photos can’t be deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright or be in violation of the Pages Terms. You may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines.

Cover photos must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not include images with more than 20% text.

To get the fastest load times for your Page, upload an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes. For images with your logo or text content, you may get a higher quality result by using a PNG file.

What does it all mean?

It’s now safe to include everything that was previously banned, including: price or purchase information, contact information, references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or calls to action.

Just don’t use more than 20% of the image space to do it. See? It’s a bone, but it’s a little bone.

How will you change your cover photo under the latest revision of the guidelines?

The lowdown on Facebook Timeline for business

Just when you were starting to get used to your Facebook business page, Facebook pulled one of its regular tricks and decided to change everything on you again!

We feel your pain so here is a quick update on what’s happening with Timeline introduction for your business pages.

Deadline for changeover

You can publish your new look now, but you have until March 30 to play around with it before you have to hit publish.  Don’t stress about making the change too quickly - you have time to figure it out, what you want it to look like and get used to the idea.

Cover photo

Timeline gives you the opportunity to put in a big gorgeous photo to represent your page.  It’s sleek and gives you a lot of room (851px x 315px) to really brand the feel of your page.

There are, however, a LOT of rules for this image.  Rules like no url to your site or calls to action that have thrown most of us for a loop!

Here are some of the guidelines you MUST follow:

Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may NOT contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Tabs and landing pages

Our big line before this week was that you need to give people an incentive for liking your page and you need to make it loud and clear using calls to action and a custom landing page.

With the changes you can no longer do any of that. We’re going to have to learn to be creative with the new rules.

The tabs now appear right under your main photo - as you can see in the example below, the coupon code you get for liking Blend Creations and their montly contest are both front and centre on the page - far more obvious than they were on the old page, even if you can’t force anyone to a specific landing page any more.


What does it all mean?

There’s lots to learn and we’ll be talking more about Timeline over the coming weeks. We’ll cover topics that show you how to feature certain items by pinning posts to the top of your timeline and how to re-order your apps (to feature them under your main cover image).

For now, start by playing around with timeline.  Come up with a great cover image that shows off who you are and what you do. Just remember not to include any calls to actions, discount offers or your url.

Choose a smaller profile image photo - that’s the image that will be showing up next to your name when you post as your page and on mobiles (timeline hasn’t come to mobile for business pages yet). We used our logo.

There are a lot of businesses that have already changed their pages over and they’re looking great! As the weeks pass all kinds of businesses will come up with great new ways to use timeline. There are lots of exciting things to come!!

Have you published your page in timeline yet?