If you got the new mobile Facebook profile layout, and just aren’t sure how to edit it. Or if you haven’t yet heard about the profile and want to know what’s up, this post is for you.
Facebook announced on Sept. 30th that personal profiles for mobile users were getting updated.
For those of you who hate it every time Facebook changes something, insert cries of anguish here.
But really, there’s no reason to panic. These are mostly cosmetic changes that you may or may not appreciate, but won’t have to think about for too long if there’s nothing here of interest. But… I really think there are some changes here to like and be thinking about down the road when it comes to Facebook Strategy!
What’s Changed With Mobile Facebook Profiles?
There are quite a few changes; some dramatic, and some less so. Let’s walk through each so that you’re aware of them.
01. Centered Profile Image
This is probably the first thing most people have noticed, whether looking at their own profile or someone else’s who has the new layout. Instead of being left-justified, profile pics are now centered on the screen, yet still positioned slightly over the cover photo. They are also displayed at a slightly larger size.
02. Video Profile Image
One of the more interesting new features that Facebook has added is the ability to use a video as your profile image, instead of a static image. You can create a new video or select one from your Facebook gallery or Camera Roll.
03. Scheduled Profile Image
With more and more people using profile images to reflect what’s going on and of interest to them in their lives at a particular moment, Facebook has added the ability to schedule your profile image so that you can more easily change it, and have it change back, to support a particular event or cause or activity.
04. Introduce Yourself
This is a new, customizable section at the top of your profile (or at the top of the left side on desktop). It’s designed to give your friends and profile visitors a snapshot of who you are and what you do, rather than expecting them to go through your entire Work or Education sections.
Using privacy flags to determine what’s included in the public section, you can let people know where you’re working, where you live, where you graduated, and your relationship status.
05. One-Line Bio
As part of the new Introduce Yourself section, you can add a short, one-line bio that helps your friends and followers understand what you do.
06. Featured Images
And you can now select up to five specific images that you want people to be able to see. This is a particularly great feature, since all other images are just displayed in reverse chronological order. This allows you to highlight some great images from the past, no matter how old they are.
How To Update That New Facebook Profile
Now that you’re familiar with what’s new with Facebook profiles, let’s dig into how to actually update them, both from desktop and from mobile.
On mobile, open the Facebook app, tap the More button in the lower right, and select your name / profile at the top of the revealed More menu. This will being up your mobile profile, similar to how others will view it.
00. Review Your Cover Photo
Now that the mobile rendering of mobile profiles has changed, it’s time to review those cover photos and make sure they still look good on mobile! Most of us are probably just using a great picture that we liked, so there’s likely little impact on that image.
However, if you created a specific graphic to use for your Facebook cover photo, you may need to review and revise that graphic. As you can see in the screenshot below, my centered profile pic is no longer ideal for the family portrait I’d selected for my cover picture. And the text that I’d added is now cut off. Looks like I need a new cover photo!
You can use Canva, as I have, to create and edit images for social media, but do note that the Canva template for Facebook cover photos reflects the desktop display only. You’ll need to think about how it will render on mobile and then check it once you’ve changed your cover photo.
01. Change Your Profile Image
While your old profile image will still be in place, and therefore you probably don’t have to make a change, you may want to take advantage of the larger image size and replace your profile image. Or, if the option is available to you, you may want to upload a video to loop.
You will know that you have the option of using video when you look at your profile image on mobile and see a rotating image and video overlay in the lower right corner. If it’s just a static camera icon, you can’t yet upload video.
Simply tap on the profile image to reveal your options for replacing it. You can:
- Take a New Profile Video
- Upload Video or Photo
- Choose Tagged Photo
- View Profile Picture
Videos can be seven (7) seconds in length. If you have some longer videos in your camera roll or Facebook gallery, you should edit them down beforehand and then go back into your profile to select one.
This might also pair extremely well with Apple’s new “Live Photos” which automatically capture a second-and-a-half on either side of any photo you take, giving you the option of a kind of animated GIF or short video.
Once you upload a video from mobile, the new animated profile picture will be visible to both desktop and mobile users.
02. Update Your Bio and Profile Information
Ready to customize what people can see about you? Under the follower count, tap the Edit button. This will bring up your profile in Edit Mode, allowing you to adjust the visibility of various entries.
Anything that you mark as Public will show up at the top, while others can be locked or only visible to friends, which means that information will only be displayed within the relevant section.
For instance, let’s say you’ve put your entire work history into Facebook, going back a couple of decades. You might make all of the old workplaces only visible to Friends (as I have), and only mark your current employment as Public so that anyone viewing your profile can immediately see where you’re working now.
This is available for Work, Education, Places You’ve Lived and Relationship. You can also edit these on desktop easily.
Once you’ve adjusted your profile details, tap the back button and go back to your profile.
Now it’s time to Add a short bio. Again, this is an option that you can edit on desktop, and that might be an easier place for you to make changes. But on both, you’ll see a + Add a short bio button you can tap or click.
Your Facebook Bio is Public and centered by default, and is limited to 101 characters.
Once set, you can go back and edit it at any time.
Finally, you can add up to five (5) featured photos which will appear within this section. Whether on mobile or desktop, you can tap Add featured photos and select from photos that you’ve uploaded and shared in the past. If on mobile, you can also take a new photo or choose from one saved on your smart phone.
The Add Photo button lets you take or upload a photo, while tapping one of the available tiles will let you choose from your existing Facebook images.
At any time, you can delete a selected photo by going back into Edit Featured Photos and tapping the blue X in the upper right corner of the photo you want to replace. You can then add a new photo or tap the tile to choose a new selection from your Facebook gallery.
Just as with your bio, these featured images are Public, so please be mindful of what images you’re selecting and sharing.
03. Schedule Your Profile Image
As of this writing, scheduling of profile images was not yet available to me. I will update this article with detailed instructions once that changes. Presumably, one would edit their profile image as normal and then choose to make it a temporary profile image, selecting whatever timeframe you wanted the new profile image to last before reverting to the prior image.
And Of Course, Why Should I?
While I honestly enjoy sharing news and updates with you, you may have noticed that I don’t write about each and every change to each and every social network. I deliberately pick specific news items because I believe there’s something there of real interest to businesses and bloggers.
In this case, I think there’s significant marketing value and insight to be had by exploring the new mobile Facebook profiles, so let’s dive into that.
You see, with Facebook being actively used by over a billion users each month, and a renewed focus on video communication, the platform continues to evolve into a critical component of any business or blogger’s marketing plan. Simply put: Facebook cannot be ignored.
But that doesn’t just mean using a Facebook Page to represent your business. Increasingly, the Facebook Profile is becoming integral and workable.
In June, Facebook introduced Facebook Authorship to help content creators (journalists, bloggers, etc.) get noticed for the content they were creating and being shared to the platform. Each time something they authored gets shared to Facebook, the link preview includes their byline with a link to their personal Facebook profile.
But of course, for most of us, encouraging strangers to become friends with us on Facebook is not a goal. Which is why people are instead encouraged to follow. When someone follows your Facebook profile, they’re allowed to see whatever you share to Public, leaving you free to share more personal posts only to Friends or specific lists.
PRO TIP: If someone sends you a Friend request and you don’t know them, but are OK with the idea of them seeing your Public posts, do not delete the request and they’ll remain a follower. Simply do nothing.
So, similar to what Google+ attempted to accomplish with circles, Facebook users can be more granular in what they’re sharing and who they’re sharing it with. Your personal profile doesn’t have to be just for friends any more.
Which brings us to these latest changes, which help every Facebook user to present a more interesting and succinct profile summary to the public.
By taking the time to craft an impactful bio statement, select appropriate items from your past to share publicly, highlight specific images and upload a dynamic profile pic, you can really impress a potential follower and reader.
This is made even more important for those of you interested in using the new, gorgeous Facebook Notes as an outpost for your content, which is currently only available to personal profiles.
If you aren’t already using your personal Facebook profile to connect with others and promote your new content, that’s something you need to take a moment to reconsider.