We’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time in recent weeks figuring out the ideal dimensions for Facebook Group, Page and Cover cover photos. And even if you have the correct dimensions down, you now have to make sure the key to crop mark is in place.
“Why don’t you just Google it?” We hear you say.
Wel, Googling it results in a mass of conflicting recommendations – mainly out-of-date. Ideal photo sizes have changed over the years (of course – this is Facebook after all). And what we have realized is most of these recommendations are far from optimal going into 2018.
FB cover photo sizes: wake up to an era of mobile and video-first
version: you now need to be creating all cover photos (Page, Group, and Profile) at 1920px x 1080px.
And yes, we are fully aware that 1920px x 1080px is WAY deeper than the traditional letterbox size.
We social media managers spend far too much time on a desktop rather than using Facebook like our fans and Group members do – i.e. on their mobiles/smartphones.
Cover images on mobile in our recommended dimensions render in full. If you’ve only uploaded the traditional letterbox size you’ll be missing out on a bunch of smartphone real estate. That same photo will be cropped (probably badly) on tablet and desktop.
Our recommended 1920px x 1080px size is actually a 16:9 aspect ratio. If you’ve spent any time working with video, you’ll know that this is the standard size for HD video. And of course you can now upload video as an alternative to a photo on your Facebook Page (that option for Profiles and Groups is bound to be here sometime soon – slideshows on Pages is also currently in an early roll-out).
So there we have it – Facebook is thinking mobile and video-first.
The OLD shallow letterbox size (which you’ll still see recommended by a lot of people) is:
- Groups: 820 x 250 (we recommend you create this in 1920 x 1080)
- Pages: 820 x 312 (we recommend you create this in 1920 x 1080)
- Personal Profile: 851 x 315 (we recommend you create this in 1920 x 1080)
But for the reasons we explain below, it’s a lot better to create your photo in deeper 16:9 dimensions:
- Universal recommended size for all all Facebook cover photos (Page, Group and Profile): 1920px x 1080px
What about the resolution?
As well as this dimension change we’ve gone for a high-resolution recommendation because we are also considering the rise of higher res devices such as Retina Display – you want your cover photos to look all crisp and clear there too don’t you! 1920px x 1080px future proofs you to some extent and also covers off pretty much any other device currently on the market.
On resolution, Facebook doesn’t help when it says “Keep in mind that your cover photo must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall”. This is simply a minimum size and in our experience, we find it way too grainy and the advice gives no guidance on safe areas for text.
So long as it’s not a crazy size you won’t be penalized for uploading a nice large high res photo (this used to be the case with Facebook Groups where compression was applied) but no more.
One word of warning, depending on the screen you use to view (i.e. non high res/retina display), you may find the image a little fuzzy. We’ve experimented with JPG vs PNG and a variety of sizes from 640×360 all the way to 1640×923. Now 820×461 often looks the sharpest on older displays but we’d still recommend 1920px x 1080px for best future proofing.
What are the downsides of this deeper Facebook cover photo?
The upside is a lovely deep photo to play with that renders in all its depth on mobile. However, on a desktop it gets cut a little as our cropping graphic below shows.
These deep dimensions give the best view on mobile as it uses the entire photo and gives you the largest area possible for the photo on the native app. It also gives you a larger area for any text that Facebook itself places on top of the photo in some scenarios.
As you don’t have an option to upload different variants for mobile vs desktop rendering you need to be super-aware of where your photo will get cropped on different devices. Keep text to the safe area and ensure that nothing else in the picture looks weird when savagely cropped.
How does Facebook crop cover photos?
Key to crop marks
- The image will render at full size on most mobile/smartphone devices
- Tablet Crop – this is where the photo will be cropped on a tablet and on mobile browsers (not the app)
- Desktop Crop – the photo will crop like this on tablets when using a browser (not the app) and on PC or Mac desktop
- Group Circular Icon – a circular photo that surfaces in some settings (for instance on the Page as the linked Group, in recommended Groups on the mobile app, likely to be in the upcoming Group Stories feature, suggested Groups). Where that crop goes does depend on faces in the photo – Facebook tends to pull them into the center of the crop so if you have a face in the right or left it’s likely there because a face has been detected. Other times Facebook seems to crop in the middle of the “busiest” part of the image
When you upload the photo you’ll be able to move it up and down which will give you a little more control on the desktop crop position (download our free Facebook Cover Image Guide for more information about how that works).
If this is a bit too much information and you are feeling frustrated then give us a call today and let us take a look at your current cover photo for your business page or group on Facebook. (678) 457-7939