Adding a Cover Photo to Your Facebook Timeline

Posted on December 25th 2011

The new Timeline feature in Facebook is now available. I had heard that come mid-December, Facebook was just going to make the change whether we wanted it or not. But, this morning my profile was sporting the same old look. I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands and go ahead and change to the new Timeline before the change was thrust upon me. I have to say It is pretty cool! I love being able to scroll to a different year and see what I was up to then. It is like a scrapbook of my life. But this tip is on how to add a cover photo. Oh and by the way, you will have seven days to work on your new Timeline before it goes public so that you can set the privacy or take things off. I liked mine ok as it was so I went ahead and hit make public now.

The first thing you will be asked to do when you enable your Timeline is to choose a cover photo. This is the large photo that will appear at the top of your Timeline page. According to facebook,

“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.”


Judi knight facebook timeline cover photo

Your Cover should be at least 720 pixels wide. If it’s any narrower, you’ll be asked to select a different image. I used a photo 750 wide by 315 tall. You will have to carefully selct this photo so that it crops well to this short wide dimension. Your original profile picture will be still be there but it will be resized to 125px by 125px.

I chose a family photo of myself with my five sisters. Facebook asks that you not use the cover for “commercial” purposes and there is some question as to what that means. I think it is fine if you have something coming up that you want to announce that it makes sense to utilize this space. I do really hate to see someone’s profile/timeline look like a business Page. My preference is to use your personal facebook timeline/profile to let people get to know you better and I don’t mind an occasional biz thing coming to my updates but I want to hear about who and what else they have going on.

What do you think about the business/personal facebook conundrum?

Judi Knight

Judi Knight

Owner , New Tricks

Judi parlayed her valuable business, coaching, technology and design skills into her business, New Tricks. Judi and her team work with small businesses and entrepreneurs to create an on online presence that reflects their business brand and converts visitors into sales. Not only does New Tricks set up creative, useable WordPress websites, they train their clients to use new technologies and social media tools to reach their business goals. Judi is the co- coordinator of the Atlanta WordPress Users Group with over 800 members, and speaks and consults with organizations on topics such as web design and social media marketing. You can visit her website at, or follow her on Twitter @judiknight.
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Posted on December 28th 2011 at 10:09PM

I was having trouble figuring out the new Timeline thing myself, but I was able to find a site with good instructions on getting setup with Timeline and a cover photo.  They also have a great selection of cover photos that are perfectly sized to fit in the display area.  Hope this helps someone who was struggling like I was.