Facebook Groups Get A New Design — With Cover Image

The din of excitement about Facebook Timeline for Pages might be drowning out any news about a new look for Facebook Groups! InsideFacebook.com first announced this change on February 2nd, showing this group with the new design. But, I didn’t see or hear much more about it. Until now!

It seems Facebook has been testing this feature for the past couple of weeks. And now, all Groups just got the new upgrade!

One of my Facebook fans from Slovakia posted on my wall that his group had the new design on February 16th. See screenshot below – click to view full size:

Facebook Groups - New Design With Cover Image

Group Admins can choose from a large cover image or leave the default member photo montage.

Member Photo Montage

The default view for the top of Groups is a showcase of members with a nifty interactive photo strip. The member images are transparent but when you hover over the photo strip, full color is restored and you can see the members’ names as you hover over individual photos. Click on any photo to go to that person’s Timeline. (Note that doing so opens in the same window; to open in a new window/tab, right click on any member photo first).

The most recently active members are randomly displayed each time you visit your Groups. Members of my largest and most active group (860+ members), tested this out a fair bit and it’s clear that the most recently active members get “first dibs” on the photo strip.

From the screenshot above for the Electricity Room’s Group (taken last week), the photo montage is two rows of 16 photos. However, it seems now the default is a single row with 8 images, as shown below:

Facebook Group - New Member Photos

Group members and Admins will see this message when first visiting their Groups.

I suspect Facebook ran some tests with the 32 images and opted for 8 instead. Perhaps faster load time?

Now, given the fact Facebook clearly has the technology to create this cool header with a montage of members that is fully interactive, I’m wondering if this could be a preview of coming attractions in other areas of Facebook? Like Events? Fan Pages?

Hmm! HOW EXCITING!! Listen up fan page owners: could you imagine the power of having a dynamic display of your fans at the top of your page? Your fans would keep coming back to ensure their face/avatar was displayed at the top. Of course, I would like to see the option to have both a branded banner (narrow is fine!) and a dynamic display of fans.

Large Cover Image!

Guess what? Just like personal Timelines, Group admins can now select from a large “cover” image instead of the member photo montage.

The cover image dimensions are 802 pixels wide by 200 pixels high UPDATE: as of March 30, the new banner dimensions are 801 x 250 px (slightly smaller than the personal and page Timeline cover images which are 851 x 315). However, note that the Group cover image tucks behind the group’s opaque “info bar,” so I recommend leaving a strip at the bottom 30 pixels high without any writing.

Facebook Group - Add Cover Image

Facebook Group - Admins can add a large Cover Image

There is one oddity to be aware of: in some groups, members can upload their own cover image which displaces the current one or replaces the member photo montage. I’m certain this is simply a bug with some groups, vs. a feature setting. I hunted high and low for such a setting, but it doesn’t exist. I’ll keep you posted on what my members and I discover.

Meantime, do you have this new group layout on your Facebook groups yet? Do you like it? Have you chosen to go with a banner or leave the dynamic member photo strip in place?

And, with the upcoming announcement of Timeline for Pages, what features do you hope to see? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • http://www.catalogprintingexperts.com/catalogprintingservices.html Lily @Catalog Template

    I hope I revert my Timeline to the old Wall and apply this kind of style instead of the boring timelines.

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Mari,

    Nice and timely post.  This is a really cool feature, and I am happy to know the exact dimensions of that banner image at the top.

    Thanks for featuring my mug up there…  :)

    ~Keri

  • http://twitter.com/daniellemcgaw Danielle McGaw

    Thanks Denise!  I was having a hard time finding the exact dimensions for the banner pic at the top, too!  This helped immensely!

  • D Blecha

    We have lost our ability to message together, I understand that there should be a chat button on the group page, any way to install this if it is missing? Thanks

  • http://DeniseSonnenberg.com Denise Sonnenberg

    Glad you pointed out the bottom margin of 30px necessary for anything containing text in your photo. Wouldn’t have thought about that until I had to redo something at some point.

  • Erin

    Got my groups switched over today and went with customer banners.. I love it and would love to see it for the events as well :)   Excited for the new Pages to get here :)   http://www.facebook.com/immelifecoacherin

  • http://Uconcept.com/ Janet Garcia

    I think I will take advantage of the full banner option.

  • 1johnsanders

    this new FB format is ridiculous – It did away with my group Icon which members recognize – It posted a bunch of Pics me & our members already know & could contact if we cared to – What is the benefit ? None I see – It did away with my logo which my 5700+ fans recognized – Just don’t get it – am I just plain dumb not to see how it is a benefit ?

  • 1johnsanders

    & I see you had bunch of your paid people put up positive comments – Thats expected – They prob all work in the dept that created this stupidity – Just a guess 

  • http://twitter.com/KlaudiaJurewicz Klaudia

    big thank you for posting that info. – very nice feature :)
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.starkey Sheila Starkey

    I noticed the new feature on a couple of group pages last night. I like the montage as it shows those that have the most recent posts. May encourage people to participate more and gives those that do additional visibiility.

  • Guest

    Beautiful
    May encourage people to participate more

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Exactly!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Very true, Sheila!! I’m excited about the new design too. I’ve decided not to put banners on my groups as it’s rather fun to see the dynamic photo strip of the most recently active members!!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Yep, plain dumb. Lol. And I deleted your other comment above. No need to be caustic, John. 

    Btw, your logo is now in the Photos section… plus you can load up a banner instead. 

  • http://shanaray.com/ Shana Ray

    Do you know of any brands that are using group pages to connect with consumers?

  • Pitthagore

    special txs 2 Mari S. 4 this help ;-) )

  • http://www.wouterkleinsman.nl/ Wouter Kleinsman

    I’m really excited about the new changes coming up Mari! It would be a new way to communicate with the community. I like the timeline, it looks much more personal! 

  • Woodarchie

    Once I put up the Banner, can I revert back to the default “Members Strip” ???

  • http://www.facebook.com/xrysostom Walter Phillip Snyder

    I’ve seen the upload “bug” on a couple open groups where I’m a member. And thanks for providing the dimensions, Mari. I’ve already taken advantage of it. I wonder if pages will join groups in allowing banners soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brempizzle Heather Strong Brempell

  • http://www.facebook.com/brempizzle Heather Strong Brempell

  • http://www.facebook.com/brempizzle Heather Strong Brempell

    I definitely like the new group cover image, just discovered it today
    myself then read your blog afterwards! I manage two business groups and
    updated them both with a custom branded image. Wish there could be the
    option of seeing 8 of the top members above/below the cover image as
    well, like you mentioned. We’ve been letting our web clients know that a
    big change is coming soon to their pages (my husband & I run
    BEssential, LLC). We look forward to the changes, since it also brings
    new branding and engagement opportunities! I hear the pages will become
    more of a blog function when the timeline is released. That’s maximum
    ability to engage & share. You were recommended to follow by Robert
    Nissenbaum (Blue Ridge Wireless) of The Tucson Business Experts here in
    Tucson. Thank you, Mari!

  • Helen Warburton

    I set up a group page for my grandsons nursery yesterday but didn’t realize I could set up a banner instead of the members pictures. Thanks for the dimensions Mari – once they have provided me with their logo I’ll see if this would be a better option. Its a really exciting time with all the changes :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/iman.elashry Iman El-Ashry

    Just shared your article on my Journalistic Dialogues group :) I also shared the dimensions with the banner designer! Hope you join us and share with us more fruitful stuff ;)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Journalisticdialogues/

  • http://www.logallot.com/ Sonia

    Thanks for keeping us updated on all the crazy changes they keep throwing at us. I like the banner pics at the top of members. I will have to explore the new options soon.

  • Anonymous

    THANKS,GOOD ARTICLE
    I LIKE THIS WEBSITE FOR FACEBOOK TIPS.
    FACEBOOK TIPS

  • http://www.kyle-newman.com Kyle Newman

    Thanks for this information Mari! I’ve been searching for a while for the image dimensions and other info on the new Facebook groups design, so thanks for posting the answers. Just need to design new images for all my FB groups now…

  • Anonymous

    THANKS,GOOD ARTICLE
    I LIKE THIS WEBSITE FOR FACEBOOK TIPS.
    FACEBOOK TIPS

  • Walter Snyder

    Mari, any info on the NEW new group photo. I just signed in after being away for a bit and see a larger photo area, tabs, and other changes.

  • Debi

    I sure wish Facebook would make up its mind when making changes because, just as Walter did, I now see that the Group cover images I JUST designed are now going to need to be redone! It’s frustrating! Do we know what the NEW new dimensions are? I haven’t been able to find out anywhere. Thanx :)

  • Mgiraldo

    With the new update, we lost the ability to invite the member’s of the group to an event. which is bad because an admin is not necessary friends with all the member’s of the group. Any ideas to go around this problem?

  • Redz_jhie

    thanks wid the new update.

  • Anonymous

    You always know the answer for everything, Mari! I Googled my question about FB Group cover photo dimensions, and you were one of the first results to show up. I love it :) Thanks for being such an incredible resource to social media marketers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffersonfaudan Jefferson Faudan

    with the timeline cover and pages, i’m glad to be getting new set of orders… just sad though that some of the FBML designs are made have to be set aside… well, they still can be used, but not as it used to be… there are apps available though… will have to go through them as well. 

  • Help

    guyz i have can i ask question if you have member in a group 1300 you can still change ur Group timeline image? because 100times i try its not working any idea?

  • Isedahl

    Hi, I recently created a facebook group and now I would like a cover image instead of the member photos. The problem is that I don’t have that button on the right side above notifications. I’ve tried other ways, I’m might stupid but I can’t figure out how to do this. Can someone help me with this? Ps. Is it just some people that have this opportunity? If so, can I contact someone to get this button? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jamie.Dolan.neenah Jamie Dolan

    Hi Mari;

    Just an update; at this point users are still able to change the cover photo in our public group.  I’m lucky to have a good audience that does not abuse this and I have only had my cover changed on me once.  Still bothers me that anyone has the ability to change the cover and could put up something completely inappropriate.
    I’ve searched and can’t find a known issue or bug report on this. I submitted a bug report. I will update this if I hear anything.
    Jamie

  • Leonie Smith

    Hi Mari, do the same rules apply for the Cover pic on Groups as on Pages? I can’t find anything in the Help Section on Facebook.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ali-Raza/100002364014285 Ali Raza

    hey join my group https://www.facebook.com/groups/loveVslovers/ frdzzzzzzzz

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ali-Raza/100002364014285 Ali Raza

    i need 100000+ members anybody help me https://www.facebook.com/groups/loveVslovers/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ali-Raza/100002364014285 Ali Raza

    i need a funny cover for my group where from i search for dis group https://www.facebook.com/groups/loveVslovers/

  • Sanjayjhon

    what can i do to earn money farm facebook ?

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  • tubieso

    You can find many cover for Facebook at http://cover-download.com

    Cover Size Facebook at http://coversizefacebook.com

  • Sandlinawhite

    My groUp has no nEW changes..can someone help me how to get it
     

  • kallol

    if i want a open a face book group have i need a fan page?

  • Tricia Bravante

    can I use animated gif?

  • Jaye

    Hi, got a question for you. My group is at http://www.facebook.com/groups/cumberlandtradingpost. A friend of mine added people to the group and they are all showing up on the Wall, example below. I can’t delete these “posts” and neither can she. I just created the group yesterday. I’ve searched high and low for an answer to why this is showing up.
    Angela Walker added Mary Catherine Bellamy Williams to the group.Like ·  · Unfollow Post · 10 hours ago