Facebook Timeline Cover Images – Is Promotional Content Allowed?

 In Facebook for Business, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Tips, Social Media
Mari Smith - Facebook Timeline Cover Image

Mari Smith – Facebook Timeline Cover Image

When you switch to the new Facebook Timeline, one of the first new features you’ll see is the ability to add a large “Cover” image. You’ll also be able to see the Cover images of all other Facebook users who have switched to the new Timeline. (After December 21st, everyone on Facebook will have their profile replaced with Timeline).

What is a Cover?

The Cover is the large image that appears at the top of your new Timeline. This is your place to get creative and let your friends and extended community know a bit more about you. Facebook states:

We’ve found that people have a better experience viewing your timeline when they see a cover that is as unique and individualized as you are….

An easy way to ensure your cover image is unique, is to choose an image from your life, like a photo from a wedding, day at the beach, or birthday party. If you want to use a photo to show solidarity or express support for a cause or organization, you can still post a status or a photo and feature it on your timeline.

Facebook seems to be dissuading users from showcasing anything other than a personal image. However, keep reading…

What are the ideal Cover dimensions?

Your Cover should be at least 720 pixels wide. If it’s any narrower, you’ll be asked to select a different image. I’m seeing various reports that the ideal dimensions should be 850px wide by 315px high. The profile picture is resized to 125px by 125px. Cover images tend to get pixelated, so it’s best to load a high-res image.

Who can see my Cover image?

Cover images are public by default – just like your profile pictures. This means ANYONE visiting your profile, whether you are friends or not, will be able to see your cover image. You don’t have to add a Cover image, but you may as well!

Is business-related content allowed on Cover images?

Now, the main purpose of this blog post came about after a discussion began with some of my friends on Facebook. It seems there’s some confusion as to what you can/cannot have on your new Timeline Cover image. I have scoured Facebook’s Help Center and Terms and have found nothing to directly indicate that it is not permitted to have any business-related content on your Cover.

BUT, the first time you go to upload your Cover image, Facebook may display the following message:

Facebook Timeline - Cover Image Message

Image credit: Karen Clark

Clearly, Facebook want to prevent users from outright commerce on their profile/Timeline, and use of the Cover image for advertising. But outright commerce surely means something like users shouldn’t sell advertising space? Or, that we should have no commercial content? Hm.

The one rule Facebook has in its Terms regards how we cannot use our profiles commercially is this (Section 4.4):

“You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).”

This rule has been around for several years. It makes perfect sense – users cannot derive financial gain directly from their profiles. That’s what Facebook ads are designed for. And, of course, Facebook (fan) Pages are the primary product Facebook offers for building a business presence.

I activated my Timeline back in September via the Developer route. Then, when my latest book came out in October, I put up a Cover image to share details about my book. This has been my Cover image for almost two months now and Facebook has not contacted me to take it down. 😉 See below (click to see full size). The lower left corner is where my profile image goes.

Mari Smith - Facebook Timeline Cover Image - Book

Mari Smith – Facebook Timeline Cover Image – Book

By the way, as part of my research for this post, I switched up my Cover image (to the sunrise pictured above) to see if any warnings showed up about what could/could not be featured on Covers… they didn’t, which is why I had to borrow the screenshot above from Larna Pittiglio (found on our mutual friend Pam Brossman‘s wall).

Now, let me digress for a moment to talk about the Subscribe option

Facebook Subscribe Button

When Facebook introduced the Subscribe button, a noticeable shift occurred.

Subscribe is designed for those Facebook users who are journalists, celebrities, political figures, and other people too.

Allowing subscribers is a simple way to broaden your conversation on Facebook, while reserving personal updates for people you know well.

The way Subscribe works is any and all Facebook users can sign up to get the PUBLIC posts in their News Feed of any user who has enabled Subscribe. NOTE: Subscribe is optional. To enable Subscribe, if you haven’t already and would like to, go here.

Facebook is really pushing the Subscribe option (maybe to compete with Google+? Shh!). For Facebook users that have enabled Subscribe, the button now shows in the Comments plugin on websites, so you can easily find and subscribe to new people. Plus, Facebook recently introduced the Subscribe button plugin for websites, which you can see in action below. Feel free to subscribe to my public updates by clicking the button below!

Though it would seem the Subscribe option is designed for public figure types, a large number of Facebook employees, for example, have enabled his/her Subscribe button. And, clearly, many folks are following suit whether they consider themselves a “public figure” type or not. (See your Subscription suggestions here).

In addition, Mark Zuckerberg himself was one of the first public figures to MERGE his fan page into his personal profile, thus having only one presence on Facebook. (Of course, Zuckerberg owns Facebook and has many business pages too!)

At the time of the Subscribe launch, Facebook approached several “power users” to see if they too would like their fan pages merged into their profiles. (For the record, I was not one of the folks approached – and I’m, quite frankly, more than happy to maintain two very different channels on Facebook. I’ll expand on this in a later post. Or, you’ll find my article on why I love the Subscribe feature in the next issue of the fb & Business magazine).

There is demand for the fan-page-to-profile merge; it’s not available as an option to anyone who wants it yet, though.

So, back to the topic of this post…

Public Profile with business-related content?

Given Facebook offers users a single “public profile” presence with Subscribe option enabled, it’s perfectly feasible that such public figures may wish to have business-related content on their Cover, yes?

What are your thoughts? Is it important to you to be able to feature something related to your business on your Cover image? Do you think personal profiles (now Timelines) should be strictly personal? Or, are you one of the folks eagerly awaiting the option to merge your fan page (likes) into your profile (subscribers). Share your answers in the comments below! And, of course, if you know the definitive answer as to what users can/cannot feature on Timeline Cover images, do share below too!

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Mari Smith

Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencer | Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker, Author | 'Mari like Ferrari' | Bubbly Scottish-Canadian!

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  • Kathleen

    Hi Mari  

    Thanks for the very informative post. I had read that there was to be no promotional images allowed, but then I saw your image so was confused.  It’ll be great to see how this all sorts out.  


  • Very interesting article Mari have shared on FB and TW as well as my papermood fanpage ! 🙂

  • Hi Mari,

    I’ve gone for a mixture between personal and professional on my timeline. I’ve got my company logo and slogan, but a photo that personally resonates with me, and also fits with my business. http://facebook.com/terridavies

  • Lisa Du

    I had read that too when I was going to update my profile to Timeline! Now if I could only find where I read it…

  • Oh @twitter-109152666:disqus – that is an awesome Cover!!! I love it. Beautiful message too. Two thumbs up. hehee!

  • Fantastico – you rock, thank you!!

  • Aha – very cool. I’m cautious about allowing apps permission though… I didn’t see a Facebook Page for your app? I always like to see who else is using it, any reviews, wall posts… and get a feel for the trustworthiness of an app before allowing it access to my profile. 

  • Thanks, @39fac3246a656e23b70bb5e3ec845999:disqus – as usual, some of these important issues are clear as mud on Facebook. LOL!

  • Your own personal image with a subtle copyright attributed to yout website should be OK in either case.

  • Thanks Mari, a great and informative article! :)(ps! …ideal dimensions is 854px wide by 315px high)

  • I just turned my timeline on so this post came out at the right time. I was unsure about adding business info to the cover but you bring up some great points which made me re-think my initial position. Thanks again, I’m going to the drawing board to think about this one.

  • David Carter

    I would have thought “please don’t use content that is commercial (or) promotional” was pretty crystal clear myself 🙂

  • Di Petersen

    Thank you for sharing Mari, very informative as always.
    My first impressions was that image has to be your own personal image, not Business related or tagged or from any public source.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Mari, very interesting… I set up my profile a couple nights ago, saw the warning and uploaded a personal photo. I then hapened to click on your profile, saw the productized header and I have to admit I was a little surprised and mildly disappointed. I felt like I was ‘following the rules’ and you were not. Which in a tiny way impacted my high opinion of you. But not that much, because here I am, still following and still clicking through to read the blog posts!

    But you are different to most of us; you, yourself are the product – your knowledge, your expertise, your speaking engagements, your books… Your personal friends are probably quite jazzed about your success. The question for the rest of us is different – assuming we have a business that we are promoting on Facebook… Do we risk irritating our personal friends by how much we push it? Is it a business that would appeal to most of them anyway? So I think for all of us in this situation, assuming we are ‘allowed’ to run a promotional header, do we want to? How does it fall in that 80/20 or 90/10 advice for keeping 90% of your personal update, well, personal! My best clients come to me through business referrals. Yes, I get some referrals from friends, but in most cases the friendship means more to me than the value of the referral. So the real question for most of us is whether promoting our business is a good or a bad thing for our personal lives as well as for our business – we all get irritated by the people who come onto Facebook as a person then do nothing with their profile except promote their business! We each need to find the balance that works for our personality and for our business.

  • Personally, I prefer to keep my personal and business stuff separate.  But then I don’t have a fan page for myself, just for my blog.  It’s interesting to learn about not using personal profiles for commercial gain.  I think there are a few PR campaigns that are doing just that.  But then, I do share my blog posts on my personal profile.  Quite tricky, isn’t it?

  • As depabooks on Facebook I’ve been frustrated with the inability to have a subscribe button on my fan page…and now with this new look as deborah painchaud; and the great banner space it would be so helpful to be able to direct people to my fan page…I am not sure that the merge would work for me if it deleted all my apps and content on my fan page as the link suggested…Keep us posted Mari…thanks…exactly what I was looking for clarity…to come…we hope

  • Happy to help!! Interesting though, the Like button on fan pages functions exactly the same as the Subscribe button on profiles! When users click Like or Subscribe, they begin seeing (public) posts in their News Feed. The difference, though, is that Facebook’s algorithms tend to favor profiles (friends/subscribers) vs. fan pages. 🙁 boohoo!

  • @AbigailGorton:disqus – fantastic comments! Thank you so much for stopping by to share. I’m glad to hear my promotional Cover didn’t turn you off completely. Lol. I do understand what you say, it’s a fine balance. I’ve never put anything promotional on my actual profile photo/avatar – though I’ve seen many people do this. Now, it’s different with the fact we have a Cover and a profile photo. It will be interesting to see where all this goes. 
    Likely different strokes for different folks… BUT, gotta say I typically like to focus more on being a member, vs. a marketer when it comes to the personal social channels. It’s just that this new Subscribe option has me quite fascinated – just in the less than 24 hours since I wrote this post, I’ve picked up 1,000 new subscribers… truly amazing. It makes me wonder what peeps would most like to hear from me on my personal profile – I’ll likely need to survey/pose questions at some point! 

  • Hi Tim! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 

  • Aha – 4 more pixels eh?! 🙂 I’ve seen a variety of sizes out there. 

  • True, true!!

  • Hey @e78d4c7745069544991f298d92e5b0da:disqus – ya, true. But, Facebook’s interpretation is that we ought not to be selling ad space to banner advertising and making direct financial gain from our profiles. That’s different from saying, Hey here’s where you can find my latest book, or this is the website for my place of work… or here’s how to contact me. 

  • Aha @facebook-100000534288461:disqus – thank you for sharing the Mashable link. Moutain Dew and also Volkswagen have Timeline cover images for fans/employees. Hmm. 

  • I think the smart thing to do is to keep the image primarily personal but also include something about what you do if you want to promote your fan page or business. Your friends and subscribers don’t want to see a huge advertisement at the top of your Timeline but a cool photo with a logo and simple tagline and URL isn’t going to offend anyone.

    I do think, as Lisa mentioned, that the Mountain Dew banners are clearly bucking Facebook’s suggestion and I’d be surprised if Facebook didn’t shut that idea down before every major brand is getting their fans to post huge advertisements on their Timelines.

  • Aloha Mari!

    Thank you so much for this very informative and timely post!  We appreciate you and everything you share to save us a lot of time.  
    Much love & aloha,
    Kellie 🙂

  • You’re welcome I’m also getting your book with my Amazon voucher’s I will get during Christmas 🙂 I downloaded the chapter on my kindle and it’s full of great advices, I want to read more. Merry Christmas !

  • Gordon Acker

    Hy Mari,
    I find that when I click on anyone’s timeline, mine included, the top of the cover picture is cut off and I have to scroll to see it.  Is this happening to everyone or is it something going on with my computer.  Thanks for any comments.

  • Aha — Facebook often only show half of the Cover image. Just click on the image for the full size to drop in.

  • Thanks, Kellie!! xx

  • Like you Mari – I have had the Timeline since September.  I uploaded a cover image with my “business” info on & never saw that pop up.  The way I see it — there isn’t any info in my Cover Image that isn’t already contained in the info section of my Timeline. (www.facebook.com/hdopson) Now, this would be different if I were blatantly advertising or promoting something – I just see it as another avenue to provide the info.  

  • I designed mine after seeing Mari’s earlier Timeline Cover. As Heather says, there is nothing on my Cover that isn’t in my info section or posts. 

  • Anonymous

    here’s mine 🙂

  • Mari, I see you’re back to the pre-Timeline look. Any news about Cover art we should know about? I can’t afford to get in trouble with Facebook since I make a living developing Facebook brand pages! By the way, I offer custom Timeline Covers too now!

  • Alexvcmin2878

    To be honest I think Facebook should allow users to do what they want with their profile. Also speaking of Facebook profile covers, I’ve seen tons of different websites that offer the same kind of thing, http://www.freefbcoverz.com have the best ones I’ve seen so far, check it out, sweet designs! Anyone know any other good websites like that one?

  • Thanks for the great info regarding FB’s new timeline.  I have not done mine yet but looks like I better take control or they will be doing it for me;-)

  • @Digi_guerrilla

    I love the new face book timeline, it will be great in 10
    years time when you look back through your time line and see what you looked
    like and what you was interested in and talking about ten years ago, amazing…
    maybe even a little freaky

  • Linda Grissette

    This has gotten me interested in designing my own cover picture that show different things in my life that were/are important to me….and I’m planning on including my real estate company logo (small size, of course) and kind of showing it as a progression in my life.  I think it will work and wondered what others here thought.  My other concern is the sizing issue.  You mentioned in the article to make ti 850 pixels wide and 315 pixels high and that it will be resized to 125 x 125.  Wouldn’t that total destort the picture if it starts out as a rectangle and goes to a square.  The ones I have seen do look rectangular in shape.

  • good stuff!  regarding a merge with my “fan” pages (yes, plural), I own two separate but related businesses.  I prefer to keep them separate on FB and I prefer to keep my personal profile as separate as possible.  I do occasionally promote business on my personal page, but I try to keep the hard “sales” to a minimum.  

    at one point I was approaching 4,000 friends so I started deleting friends who I didn’t know in real life. I’ve thought about including a link to my fan pages on my public info page. now, I’ve stopped accepting friends I don’t know and just allow them to subscribe.  I post a mix of public and non-public content.

  • Great information Mari!  I’m fascinated by the idea that we may (in the future) be able to merge our fan page and personal page.  I share things from my fan page onto my timeline usually my blog posts and sharing my latest artwork.  However, there are things I post on my timeline that I don’t put on my fan page.  Food for thought here.  Anyhoo,  I created a banner http://www.facebook.com/TracyLSwartz that uses my artwork as does my profile picture.  I didn’t add a website or any other info.  If I’m curious about a person, I’ll click on their info to find out more so that’s the approach I’ve taken.  Thanks for all you do!

  • I hope that a little bit of self promotion will continue to be OK with Facebook. After all, we are all on here to network and see how we can help each other succeed.

  • Normalou

     I’m seeing this too, and it’s really annoying.  Plus, I cannot figure out the reasoning behind it.  Why did they develop it this way?  Is it an error?

  • Roger

    I was having trouble figuring out how this whole Timeline cover photo thing worked at first, but then I found a website with some very good instructions on how to activate Timeline and how to select a cover photo.  They even have a bunch of nice cover photos that are sized just right to fit the display area.  Hope this link helps someone else who is struggling like I was.


  • I still haven’t updated to the new Facebook timeline. I think it was mostly the cover photo that was holding me back. Thanks for all the great advice. Maybe I’ll finally make the change now.

  • Ruby

    Today is December 30th and I still have my old Facebook profile. Wonder why?

  • Good to know that I can include my biz banner in personal profile.  I think it’s great you could share with all your friend your hard work on your book and share a liitle of your work life.  Congrats on the book and thanks for the info.

  • Great article, Mari! Glad to see my name on your image with “Subscribe” because I love your posts and updates. Another reason that everything you like, click, and view becomes part of the public domain even if just used as an example 🙂 Happy New Year! #likesup

  • Heleens

    Nice article! I also made my own cover and will do so for my business FB..  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040064801

    good luck

  • Love the information!  I was actually just having this conversation with my husband as he’s a realtor with his own company and we were working out good ideas for a cover that were clearly reflective of his business but not salesy.  It’s easier for me as I’m a direct seller and can just have some personalized clothing or party type atmosphere in the cover… not as much for him. 

    Oh… and thanks for “including” me into your article… 😉

  • Rspmohideen

    hai everyone i thought tat this timeline s very useful and osthi to people

  • Paul

    Thank you for this interesting article. I have just put up my Timeline Cover Image… but others are telling me that Facebook will deactivate me because I have my website address on it. What are the rules because I cannot find any mention of this, I have had my company website address on my profile page for years like so many people have …so what difference is it to Facebook that I have it on my banner. Anyway for your reference here is my profile link… http://www.facebook.com/pablosix3    Do you think it is breaking any rules, bearing in mind most people put their web addresses on their profile anyway. Look forward to everyones feedback.

  • Stacee T.

    Thank you for another fabulous article, Mari! I haven’t gotten around to upgrading to timeline… yet. But, Whatever images I put on the cover will be my images that I’ve taken. I am a professional photographer (and have a business page) and I watermark ALL my images. Can I still watermark the cover image and put a website on there? I look forward to your take on all these FB rules!

  • I wonder when they’re really going to roll out the timeline for brands.

  • Despite the message in the Facebook dialog box, I see plenty of commercial promotional material in Facebook profile covers. Then again, people use multiple Facebook accounts which Facebook says is not allowed.

    I am waiting for Facebook to put ancestry in their Timeline – why stop at “Born”.

  • 600bckk

    Great article! It seems that people with many friends can actually use that space for promotions effectively. Most people would have trouble pulling this off, unless it’s for an event. Most people I’ve seen just use creative,funny, ones. I found some great ones on sites like these, they’re already cut to shape.


  • David,
    Why stop at this lifetime? Why not past lives? 🙂

  • Christine, LOL. Coming up with information to fill the timeline is hard enough for born, let alone ancestry and way-out-there past lives. I would not know where to begin. 🙂 Should we consider parallel universes?

  • can someone help me.. i cant upload image to my cover photo.. after loading the image the save button seems to not work. help!.. i tried high resolution images followed the standard size yet when it comes to SAVEing it wont…  

  • I believe it’s clear you r not allowed to gain money from ads. simple as this. also i like featuring my business with my profile. as i’m doing now. it’s kinda represent me but also i can maintain a different statues using subscribe feature. 🙂

  • It makes good sense for some people to merge their profile and fan page. I wouldn’t want to – I like creating html landing pages for facebook fan pages. So, I have a few more fan pages than I need, but other than the main fan page, the others are primarily for fooling around with and creating new ideas. (I hope facebook doesn’t read that!!) Someday, I may use them for other ventures… Now, I digress 🙂 I have my cover page clearly showing links to my businesses – on my profile – and see no reason to have it any other way. It’s who I am and why I’m on Facebook. Warmly, Susie Daniels

  • Ivic Vanja

    What I can do, or if I could equally 24 hours to try again?
    I can’t log in to Facebook from my computer because I once wrong area code a phone and now I can’t get into my profile (Use a phone to verify your account). All day writes this “You are requesting too many codes in a short period of time. Please try again later” 🙁 I want my profile 🙁 heeeeeeeeeeeeeelp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • Social Network Design

    Nice post.Timeline is really in demand these days.Facebook is giving a strong competition to Google Plus and enhancing the users interface frequently.I like the company working hard on the platform and satisfying the users.

  • edgar

    I Cant Save The Cover I Want On My Profile >:/

  • Johanna Pal

    Can you tell me where some of the timeline photos come from? My step daughter age 13 has a set of photos that clearly show 2 adolescent males in an obviously homosexual relationship and I am wondering what message she is attempting to portray?

  • Mike Jordan

    I think this is a great topic to discuss Mari. I recently changed over to timeline and for some time did not like the idea of timeline. Now that I see you uses the timeline as a benefit to your personal page I think it makes a great way to use the cover photo. I think the cover photo should definitely be able to benefit personally.

    I also think that since facebook will not allow you to change to going back to the old facebook layout that they should embrace the new idea of self promoting because they have not given us the option to go back to the old way. 

  • Sheenagujral_25

    It is good, however if we post our personal pic who we do not want to share with people who are not friends den it is a problem..d privacy should be given to cover photo rather appearing public please…

  • Carolynne

    Thanks so much for this post clarifying things, Mari. What bothers me the most, I guess, is that while FB encourages us to buy ads and sponsored stories, they have greatly reduced the reach of pages, so even if someone does like your page from an ad you have paid for, a post from your page may never appear on their newsfeed. Maybe that is a way to ultimately try to get us to spend more money. But I am disheartened, because I am feeling that the money I am spending on ads I may ultimately have just put in the fireplace and burned.

  • Fairyking13

    I am not able to set up my cover image …its taking too much time to upload …. but its not uploading also …

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing. This is my
    favourite website for Facebook Cover Photos: http://designfacebookcover.com/

  • Joe

    Maybe 13 is just a touch too young to have aa FB page.

  • Stacia Ellermeier

    I’m having the same problem! Have you found the fix yet?

  • Good application. Now my mind asking many questions about it. I am going to learn some article on it.

  • When Facebook released subscriptions, I battled with this a bit. I’m not a public figure by any means, but I thought I could get by with subscriptions to promote my website and consulting. It’s really hard to separate personal and business on one account, though, especially when the same group receives your public stuff whether it’s business or pleasure, and the content you want to post publicly may not always be suitable for subscribers (meaning, it may not be the stuff they were looking for when they subscribed).

    Ultimately, it really came down to the many benefits of having a business page. Analytics, customized tabs/apps and use of Facebook ads, plus ability to then focus my conversation. This way, I could keep personal personal and business business without crossing lines. I was also likely annoying friends with my incessant self-promotion and/or Facebook marketing talk. Now I could split the two.

    I’m glad I did it, and I’m never going back. People still can subscribe to my content, but I think they’d get a lot more out of simply liking my page.

    Just my two cents!

  • Shano Shono

    i like this 😉

  • WilmerHSmith

    Thanks for introduce about facebook timeline. I have account in facebbook and want to create account as your account. It’s looking gorgeous…

  • Hey Mari, 

    Thanks for the detailed explanation of the new look of Facebook. I guess it’s time to claim my “face lift”
    Cheers Akos

  • Tnbowen

    When I went to add my cover photo it wouldnt let me choose from all of my photos. Why is that?????

  • Sid0286

    when i choosing photos its not showing all photos from my album

  • I’ve been add random Covers own photos and nice patterns since I activate my Timeline through the developer route back last year. I’ve been unsure of the etiquette over Cover content and I have seem many fabulous Covers from all over the world. I’d love these Covers to come into play for Pages… I think they will smashing for brands and bands 🙂

  • no thats not allowed on Facebook… as they have mentioned clearly.

  • Justtesting

    Shouldn’t fret too much … will probably all change again within a few months anyway  🙂

  • If facebook is really preventing e from putting the banners that i want to post then I will have to think of  a work around like wearing a t-shirt that displays my company logo. People who really want to pass through censorship wil always think of new ways. Do you understand FACEBOOK?

  • Taylor Vanderkamp

    I deleted my cover album now I can’t put a cover photo up. Does anyone
    know how to do it? When you try to add one it doesn’t stay.

  • Steve Hards

     Uploading any images to Facebook can be a problem if you are using the Firefox browser, for some reason the save button doesn’t seem to work. Just switch to Chrome or Safari for the upload and try. Also, if you are using an advert-blocking plugin that may interfere.

  • how to get an animated image on the profile for facebook please let me know if possible

  • brett long

    Google search for timeline pixel size brought me here.  Your article sidetracked me for a bit..  Useful stuff Bookmarked, and back to my project.

  • neonix

    I think you make a good point, and I agree. Being that profiles can be used for personal and business at the same time, the cover image should be able to promote something related to your business.

    I don’t anticipate Facebook will be too strict about this rule anyway. It seems perfectly fine to promote something such as a book you’ve authored (especially because that is also personal). I think as long as your cover image doesn’t look like an actual banner ad you would see on the side of a website, saying “HEY BUY THIS PRODUCT NOW!” you’ll be fine. 

    Plus, I don’t imagine Facebook could possibly monitor every single timeline cover out there manually, and I can’t really think of any way Facebook would automatically detect advertisement images, except by trying to detect and parse text upon upload and deny images that contain certain keywords, but that seems unlikely and easily circumvented.

  • I would really like it if they allowed Facebook covers to be monetized. I could see companies paying a small fee to someone to post their ad, and that small fee could be based on their facebook activity or amount of friends, etc.

  • Some changes with the time line for pages

    cover pic dimension are 851px-350pxand page profile pic dimensions 180px-180px

    Now as my pages are merely fan pages for various zynga games the cover pic choice is really difficult to not have IP issues with zynga.

    So I opted to highlight our logo and have some website screenshots as you can see here. 


  • Wd

    This is all BS because your Cover image breaks all the facebook policys, your cheating the system and facebook will come after you.

    *Cover photos cannot include:
    A. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”.
    B. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
    C. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
    D. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.
    Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property.

  • Thank you, for the post I am looking forward to finding a fun way to use my cover photo for both my personal and business page!! 

  • Acergriseum

    Not so much ‘bs’ as old information… the blog post was written in 2011 while the FB policy you quote is new.

  • Good points . I especially like your point about responding to comments and trying to promote the guest post on stumbleupon and other social media sites. The more you give back the more writing opportunities you will get.

  •  Sorry, grammar alert: please make that “aN 850×315 image” above…

  • Li09

    i really hope that  facebook timeline cover page can give us choose whether we want share everyone can see our cover image or we just want our friend see only,the cover page for us is also our privacy,so i really dont like it’s only public,i hope we can choose freedom but not only share with public

  • Rrrrrr_88

    i like the timeline cover page,but one i dont like is why our cover page only share with public but no give us to choose whether we want only share with friend or custom .

  • Yuyu

    i dont want cover page are public,i want we can choose want to be friend can view our cover page only or we want to let it be public,please change it and give us to choose

  • Lolo

    can facebook owner change the timeline cover page to share with firend only,or public?

  • Christine

    Facebook uses 4 levels of privacy:
    EveryoneFriends of FriendsOnly FriendsCustom………please do it on cover page also,please

  • Really Creative
    Now I REALLY feel my FB profile is lame. There’s some pretty cool ideas there.
    Thanx for Sharing 😉

  • Thank you for the information. Many things to learn 🙂

  • Luweezla

    can I add a created picture movie with sound as my timeline cover? If so, how?

  • Gregg

    Would you keep “everyone can add” posts or photos checked off in the settings?

  • No

    Useful, thanks! 🙂

  • Keene Bathan

    it says your cover appears to be larger than your profile picture it has to be atleast 399 pixels wide.i dont get it.how am i suppose to put an uploaded photo to make me my cover

  • The specs for the timeline have changed! Profile pictures must be at least 150×150 pixels in order to upload.
    The timeline covers are still the same pixels though, and facebook does pixel them, but not too much. As long as you save your images in non-compressed format and in a .gif file they will come out smoothly.

  • Guest

    Did they ever say your profile picture couldnt have arrows pointing towards the like button? lol I think i’ve found a loophole for the new facebook rules theyve updated!

  • Accidental Techie

    Your information was very helpful as I prepared an image for use as our organization’s  cover photo. As one of two administrators for our organization, I wonder what your advice would be about how to utilize the subscribe feature when my personal profile is just that personal.

  • Astrid Bidanec

    It does not make any sense to me that the page cover image should not contain any kind of advertisement on professional/business pages. But I guess it forces a business or organization to look deep into their company cultures and figure out what they want to stand for when they cannot “hide” behind their products or services. Especially for humanitarian and non-profit organizations this is a powerful opportunity to share their mission in an expressive and compelling image that transcends lingual and cultural limitations.

  • I was not aware of the importance of cover image to such extent. Thank you so much for educating me about this. 

  • Anonymous

    Hi Mari. I’m working on a cover image that gives a few details about an ongoing campaign. You have since changed your FB cover photo…was there any problems with the one above? 

  • Facebook Timeline is disliked by most of the people, as it has changed the way everyone utilizes it.

  • adi

    The most annoying thing about the cover photo is the fact that all your friends are notified when you change the stupid picture, WHY Facebook?

  • Benjamin

    More than our cover photo, we must be concern about how to build our personal branding. Realationship.

  • It does state here https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=276329115767498

    “:How should I choose a cover photo for my Page?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. 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”To get the best quality image and fastest load times for your Page, upload an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes. All cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the image you choose. Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines. “So that first line kind of explains why you CANT do what you posted there without breaking the rules. BReaking the rules doesnt mean you WILL get caught, but when I guess.More info here https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

  • James

    Section 3 b, clearly states you can’t use the cover photo for business, try harder next time.

  • James
  • Glen
  • Generally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  • Generally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  • Generally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  • Why my cover photo is so low quality even if I’m loading a picture with high quality?

  • Korniskateboards

    why can’t i upload or change my cover photo for a new one?
    it says that the chosen photo must be at least 399 pixels wide but the one that i choose is much wider than the required size.. please help me .. 🙁

  • SUcantare

    Mari, once again an incredible article. Very comprehensive. I’m inspired to re-make my Facebook cover photo right now! 

  • Tarawoodruff Bodybyvi

    I did find specific rules regarding what we can display for a timeline cover, now I have not witnessed any cracking down on it, bet the rules are clear 

  • Facebook Covers For Timeline. We have thousands of Facebook covers to choose from. Facebook Cover photos updated everyday!

  • Hi, all are beautiful, but I have a problem. I can’t change birth photo. When I was try to change this, nothing happen and after I pressed the x button … Nothing and now it’s empty … there is only this little pencil, but not work because there is no photo anyware. How can I fix this? 

  • This is my stuff dawg.

  • IMWell

    No references to “like” or share”; NO price or purchase info; NO URL’s, email addresses, phone #’s; and NO calls to action( “get it now”)

  • This helped me alot. I started a page for a custom tack shop, and the original cover picture I made was plenty long (half missing) but it wouldnt let me move it left or right. redid it, closer to the correct dimensions, and it worked out great.

  • john

    i want to put a swf file for my cover, is the anyway to do it? i have flash based business page https://www.facebook.com/pages/JOHN-GUATE-PHOTOGRAPHER/125849374125830?v=app_4949752878 but i want to use just the cover for personal page

  • i love you

  • Paul mess

    here is a template showing fb cover page dimensions https://www.facebook.com/CoverPhotoSize

  • dafte

    If you send someone who is not your friend on facebook a message, does
    this message go to the “other” mail box? And also, does the new “seen
    by” feature works on people who are not friends with or only people you
    are friends with?
    ?????? ???? ????????? ??????? ??????? ???? ????????

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