It’s a question we get quite frequently. What’s a Facebook cover photo and what makes for a good one? Technically, that is two questions but we get so many questions about Facebook cover photos and profile pictures that they tend to run together.

What is a Cover Photo?

A cover photo is a photo associated with your Facebook profile. It sits at the top of your timeline and is always public – an important point to keep in mind as you select what photo you would like to use here. It is 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels high. You can either choose to crop your photo to this size beforehand or you can drag and re-position your cover photo during the process of adding it.

To upload a Facebook cover photo view your timeline and click the item that says “Change Cover” to open a drop down dialog box. You can either select a photo from your already uploaded photos, upload a new photo, reposition or remove the existing cover photo. (See photo below)


There are some basic things to keep in mind as you select your cover photo.

  1. As discussed earlier, it will be public so choose wisely.
  2. It does not have to be a photo – it can be a graphic or other illustration.
  3. Your Facebook cover photo should make a statement about you or your business.
  4. Be mindful of Facebook’s terms about how you should and should not use a cover photo for your page (

What is a Profile Picture?

The smaller profile picture is what appears by your name in the news feeds of other users. To get your profile picture EXACTLY as you would like it to appear it should be cropped to 180×180 pixels. If you don’t do this Facebook will do it for you and you may not care for the results.

It is interesting to note though that the profile picture will be cropped and displayed as 160×160 pixels. That is, unless you tell Facebook otherwise.

You can select Edit Thumbnail and select “Scale to fit” on the dialog box. This will force your 180×180 pixel image to be scaled down to fit 160×160 pixel display dimensions.


Wrapping Up

You are now in total control of both your Facebook cover photo and your profile picture! What you do now is limited only by your creativity.