Facebook profile picture and thumbnail size in 2011
If you are running a Facebook page for your business or organisation, then you’ll want to make sure you get your design of your profile picture exactly right so that you make optimal use of the space available and at the same time making sure the thumbnail picture is spot on too.
This means you can have quite a tall profile picture and can use that extra space for branding, offers, bit of fun. Take your pick.
As far as the thumbnail is concerned. Facebook doesn’t let you use the full width of your profile picture. 16% of it is always impossible to select. This means, if you have a profile pic that’s the maximum 180 pixels, 29 pixels will be unselectable for your thumbnail – making 151px wide.
The thumbnails are always square, so this means the maximum area of your 180×540 profile picture is 151×151 – but you can of course which ever 151×151 square from the picture you want.
Which means you need to design your profile picture in a smart way so that it works in both situations – on the page itself, and then in all the places where a thumbnail is displayed.
Update: March 2012
Facebook have introduced Timeline pages for businesses. I’ve written a new blog post about the optimal size of your timeline cover photo.