Facebook Reduces Cover Image Restrictions

facebook reduces cover image restrictionsAlthough most Facebook changes tend to make people, well, a little stabby, the latest news might just make your day. The site has quietly removed the majority of its cover image restrictions, making it easier for brands and businesses to use this valuable visual real estate to promote things like sales, events and the Facebook page itself.

Here’s the scoop on what cover images can now include:

  • Price or purchase information
  • Contact information (including website, email, mailing address or other information that might be included in your page’s About section)
  • References to Facebook actions such as “like” or “share,” as well as arrows pointing from your photo to these features
  • Calls to action such as “Buy now,” “Tell your friends,” “Contact us,” etc.

Although most of the restrictions no longer apply to Facebook cover images, one rule remains in effect: text can only occupy 20% of the cover image area. Additionally, Facebook TOS states that, “Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.”

To us, this seems like a smart move on Facebook’s part. The introduction of Timeline made custom apps less impactful, and the inability to encourage liking or sharing or post pertinent contact or promotional information seemed a little ridiculous, especially for a site that clearly wants as much money as possible from businesses who want to use the social network for marketing purposes.

This may not be big news to many, since a ton of brands and businesses large and small either didn’t know about the rules for content in Facebook cover images and/or blatantly ignored them. Given the sheer number of business pages that exist on Facebook and the ongoing flack about sponsored posts and promoted posts and posts only being seen by a fraction of your overall audience, perhaps Facebook realized that imposing fewer restrictions on business pages might actually be a smart move for marketers wanting to use the platform in a manner that drives awareness and, more importantly, sales.

What about you? Did you develop your cover images with the TOS in mind and, if so, will you be modifying them to include calls to action and contact information or are you just so sick of Facebook that you don’t care?

Image: Marcin Wichary via Compfight cc

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Birkett/100001154480901 Steve Birkett

    Wow, a common sense and positive free marketing move from Facebook…. is this story a week early??

  • ShellyKramer

    LOL!

  • Pingback: BizSugar.com()

  • http://twitter.com/lisakwiese lisa wiese

    This is a fantastic gift to brands active on Facebook.

  • ShellyKramer

    We agree!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pegjacksoncmc Peggy Whitlow Jackson

    I’ve tried hard to follow the rules, so I’ll be making changes to my cover image on my page!

  • ShellyKramer

    Good! It’s an important step, I think. Thanks for coming by :)

  • http://newpunishment.deepr.ca/ DarrinSearancke

    So, Facebook has eased the rules about Cover Photos (in part) due to the volume of businesses ignoring them … wondering how strict they can hope to be with 20% coverage? Who will be measuring that?

  • http://www.bizsugar.com/ Heather Stone

    Hi Shelly,
    I think if Facebook is serious about getting small businesses to participate and use the site more, this move is common sense. Of course, given some of the other concerns voiced recently about the current limited reach of posts etc. I’m wondering if it’s too little too late. Thanks to Michelle Mangen for sharing this with the BizSugar community.

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Heather. I’m with you — it would be great if FB started paying more attention to the millions of small businesses who use the site – beyond great, actually. So glad you stopped by – and we’ll be sure and thank Michelle!

  • Pingback: Curator | A Seattle PR Agency. – The Curator News Feed: March 29, 2013()

You can also find me on Google+ Real Time Web Analytics