How to Make Your Facebook Timeline Cover Photo: The Basics

Timeline-Cover-PhotoThumbnailIt’s official, everyone will be getting the Timeline by the end of February. The first thing you will want to do when your personal profile switches over to the new Timeline is add your cover photo.

You can create a personalized Facebook Timeline cover photo in minutes by following few easy basic steps. Honestly, adding your cover photo is so easy there will be no excuses for people to have blank blue backgrounds on the top of their Timeline.

How to Make Your Timeline Cover Photo Basics

Facebook-Timeline-Cover-PhotoIntro: A look at the new Timeline cover photo layout. The cover photo is a large banner heading the top of your Timeline. Your personal profile photo is now located in the lower left corner with your name and basic info.

Tip: Your cover photo is your introduction to your Timeline story. The photo should be unique to you, choose an image from your life, like a photo from a wedding, day at the beach, or birthday party to share with your friends.

Facebook-Timeline-Edit-Profile-Photo-Dropdown-OptionsStep 1. Click on the Add a Cover to open the dropdown options. Choose your cover photo from your Facebook photo albums or upload a new photo.

Tip: The cover photo dimensions are  851 pixels wide by 315 pixels high and the image you select for your cover has to be at least 720 pixels wide. Landscape oriented photos will work best and Facebook will automatically re-size existing images to fit.

Facebook-Timeline-Choosing-Your-Cover-PhotoStep 2. A note from Facebook with important info: Cover photos are not meant for banner ads or promotions and please respect copyrights when choosing photos.

Note: Is putting something related to your personal business on your cover photo OK? The Facebook rules regarding this are hazy at best and currently there is no definitive answer. We recommend sticking with personal images – why take chances with your Facebook account?

Facebook-Timeline-Cover-Photo-AdjustStep 3. Adjust your cover photo composition by clicking on the photo and dragging it. Click the Save Changes button and you are done!

Important Privacy Info: Cover photos are public, this setting over rides any previous privacy setting. Anyone on Facebook could potentially see, share  or downloaded your cover photo. Stick to images you feel comfortable sharing with the world.

Facebook-Timeline-Profile-PhotoStep 4. To add or change your profile photo click on Edit Profile Picture to open the drop-down menu options.

Select an image at least 180 pixels by 180 pixels in size. Facebook will resize it to appear as square image 160×160 pixels. Your profile photo is still the little avatar image that appears on top of every page and beside all your postings. You might want to consider keeping this a recognizable image of you .

Facebook-Timeline-Edit-ThumbnailStep 5. Edit your Thumbnail by either dragging the image or checking scale to fit.

Tip: What to take a look at what your friends are doing with their Timeline? Visit the Facebook’s Timeline page  and scrolling down to the bottom to see which friends have converted their profiles. Click on their photo to see their Timeline.

For some super creative cover photos look to these examples from the Hongkiat site article, Facebook Timeline Cover: 40 (Really) Creative Examples. Emanuele Batolomucci’s clever way of introducing both the Timeline and himself in his cover photo is one of our favorites:


Are you are inspired to go all out with your cover photo, but don’t have the time or the photo editing tools to create cover photos? There are some great easy to use applications that make getting creative with your cover photo simple that we will being sharing in our next Facebook Timeline article.

More Social Media 101 Timeline Articles

Timeline Guides

Sue Surdam | Artizon Digital | WordPress Specialist and Social Media Solutions | 503-577-1035



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