Since it is the biggest social network in the world, Facebook has become your point of introduction to people on the Internet. No matter what you chose for your photo privacy settings on Facebook, the profile pic and cover are visible to everyone. Naturally, your profile picture and your cover photo matter a great deal.
These need to represent who you are or what you’re all about, maybe at a given time or in general. Not everyone is a designer though, so how do regular folks like you and me make a great impression? Well, a few sites and apps can help with that.
LaMem (Web): Computer Analysis of Your Profile Picture
When we showed you how to make a great profile picture, one of our tips was to survey people’s opinions with PhotoFeeler. A few engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology decided they didn’t need people, and built a program that uses advanced algorithms to tell you how memorable your photo is.
LaMem (or Large Scale Image Memorability) asks you to upload your image, takes a few minutes to compute it, and spits out a score. Click the little question mark next to the score to understand what percentage of people who see the photo will remember it two minutes later. The percentage part doesn’t scale well, so just go with the overall score and try to get it as high as possible using some of the tips we’ve shared in the article linked above.
Profile Overlays (Web): Add a Filter to Your Profile Pic
Last year, Facebook introduced temporary profile pictures, to let you show your support for a certain cause or send a message about some event. Instead of changing your profile picture outright, this only changes it for a short period. One of the side effects of this has been a rise in the number of “filters” or “overlays” for profile pictures, like the rainbow filter to show your support for gay rights.
While Facebook has some of these filters available in the app itself, there’s a large number it doesn’t have. If you’re looking for a specific overlay, like one to support your favorite soccer team in the ongoing Euro Cup, then check out Profile Overlays. The trending overlays will tell you what the world is applying to their profiles right now, while you can search to find almost anything else. You can even request custom overlays!
In case you didn’t find what you were looking for, there’s another site you can check out. Rainbow Filter has its own collection of overlays, and also supports Twitter. The catalog is much smaller, but it has topics that Profile Overlays doesn’t support.
Cover Junction (Web): Large Repository of Awesome Covers
Even if you know the perfect dimensions for cover photos, it’s difficult to know what you should put there. Your profile picture is probably your face, so the cover photo is where your creativity can come in.
Cover Junction lets you browse through hundreds of free Facebook cover photos that you can download and apply to your own profile. Covers are sorted by categories like abstract, flags, memes, movies, and many more. It’s super simple, and what’s more, you can even create your own. For example, take this image here:
If you like it and want it as your cover photo, just go to Cover Junction and follow the steps to log in to Facebook to make it your cover. Yup, it’s that easy.
Canva (Web): Create Custom Covers with No Design Skills
Here at MakeUseOf, we love Canva, the free online graphic design app. If you want to make a custom cover photo that wows your friends, nothing beats the ease with which Canva can make one for you.
A bunch of premade layouts will get you started, especially if you aren’t good at figuring out which fonts to use or where to place text. Canva also has a whole bunch of gorgeous stock pictures you can use, or upload one of your own. Next, head to the “elements” section, where you can pick from different things to add, like a neat little chart, cool frames, or lovely icons.
Add a filter if you want, edit the text, and do whatever you feel like. Once you’re done, download the free custom cover photo to your hard drive, and then upload it to Facebook.
Tricked Out Timeline (Web): Cover Photo = Jigsaw Puzzle, Profile Pic = Missing Piece
The cover photo and profile pic can be completely separate, or you can mesh them together to create unique and creative pictures without Photoshop. The best tool for the job is an oldie but a goodie.
Tricked Out Timeline has been around for some time now, but it’s easily the simplest tool to snip a picture in order to create a cohesive combination of the profile and cover photos. Choose from one of the four styles above, upload your photo, and get ready to create your picture.
The missing jigsaw piece is perfect if you’re cropping a larger photo to get your profile picture. Just upload the larger photo, select the part you crop for your profile pic, and that’s where the jigsaw will be placed. The “missing” jigsaw piece then shows up as your profile pic. Cool, eh?
Have You Made a Profile Video?
Facebook now also lets you add videos as profile photos, turning them into the Internet’s favorite language, GIFs. Have you made a “profile video” yet? Did you take a selfie or do something cool with it?