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Experiments, investigations, and tests of web things
March 27, 2012

Facebook Timeline cover photo size in 2012

At the end of March 2012, Facebook rolled out the Timeline to all business pages. You’ll obviously want to make sure you get the design of your cover photo exactly right so that you make optimal use of the space available, as well as making sure you don’t break the rules.

There are a fair few web pages that are giving you incorrect information about the optimal size of the cover image. Don’t worry, I’m going to set the record right!

The maximum size of a Facebook Timeline cover photo at the time of writing (March 2012) is 851×315 pixels. Facebook confirm this here.

template showing the cover photo dimensions

The minimum width of your uploaded image is 399 pixels. I’ve not found a limit to the height. Facebook scales images that are wider (or narrower) than the maximum to be 851 pixels wide. You can then scroll the image up and down to select the appropriate 315 pixels of its height to show.

A 1 pixel wide semi-transparent border is added to cover photos, there is also a similar 1 pixel border added to our profile picture as well as 15 pixel of white. In addition there are 1 pixel “rounded” corners (which you can see in the close up below)

close up of a profile picture showing the 1 pixel corner

Half of the profile picture overlaps your cover photo, meaning 135×75 pixels are never visible to vistors to your page. Make sure you avoid putting important elements or text in that part of your image.

Note that timelines of people (as opposed to business pages) show a larger profile picture of 166×160 pixels that covers 160×120 pixels of the cover photo.

Your profile picture is always square. If you upload a non-square profile picture you can adjust the part shown via the “edit thumbnail” option. Facebook doesn’t let you use the full width of your profile picture. 16% of it is impossible to select (see my previous post about profile picture sizes) unless you choose the “scale to fit” option.

Screenshot showing the scale to fit checkbox

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