Facebook's testing out a new option which enables Page managers to add embedded text to their cover photos.
The test has actually been in circulation with selected Pages for a couple of weeks, but seems to have been ramped up recently, with more reports of the text option showing up (thanks to reader Michael Armogan for sending us the tip)
What benefits the cover text provides is unclear at this stage, though if it's rolled out more widely, it could become a new Facebook SEO factor, a means to help sort Page relevance and connect you to what you're seeking. But then again, it may serve no technical purpose at all - it could just be another way to add something extra to your Page to better describe what it is you do, in a spot more immediately visible to users than your 'About' page, or a place to include a mission statement to help communicate your purpose.
If you have access to the option, you'll be able to add text by clicking/tapping on the 'Edit' button at the bottom right of your cover image.
This will open a text box - you can write anything you want in here, with a limit of 100 characters.
Once you're done, you press the tick icon, and the text is added to your Page cover.
It's hard to know what to make of it at this stage. As you can see from the examples, on desktop, the text looks fairly unobtrusive, but on mobile, especially with capital letters, it looks a bit much.
If there's a defined purpose or reason why you would add text, like, as noted, an added Page sorting element or a new way to help boost engagement, then no doubt it'd be worth it. But as a complimentary tool, a means to add another way to communicate with visitors, the risks of misuse could be too high to see this become a highly useful addition.
We've asked Facebook for comment on the test and what the purpose of the option is - we'll update the post if we hear back.
UPDATE: Facebook has confirmed this test, saying that:
"We're always working to make Pages more valuable for people and businesses alike. We recently started testing several cover area designs and enhancements to help businesses feature key information more prominently."
Facebook also provided some detail as to how the new text on cover image option work:
- If the Page admin has already filled out the "Description" field in the About section, we will automatically transfer the text. Page admins may edit it at anytime by clicking the "Edit Information" option in the cover area.
- These new enhancements only apply to Pages with a cover photo.