This post was originally written on April 7, 2016, and we have just updated it with the latest information.

The Facebook cover photo. It feels like it should be so easy to pick one, and yet finding the perfect image feels super hard at the same time.

You only get one; one photo, one shot to make a good impression, one chance to convey a distinct feeling, so what should it be?

Your Facebook cover photo is one of the first things people will see when they visit your Facebook Page, and that is exactly why it is so important to make the best first impression possible and for the cover photo to convey exactly what it is you are aiming for. Even though it sounds simple, we’ve found that it’s pretty tough! No worries, though, we’re here to help you.

Let’s jump in and figure out the best way to make the most out of your Facebook cover photo, together.

The Ideal Facebook Cover Photo Size And How To Make Yours Stand Out (Including 12 Excellent Examples)

In this article, we’ll do three things:

  1. Introduce you to the Facebook cover photo and ideal dimensions
  2. Guide you through how to create a cover photo and how to select the perfect image
  3. Provide some examples of Facebook Pages with brilliant cover photos

 

Once you’ve got your cover image sizes, we’d love to help schedule and analyze your posts — so you can drive more Facebook traffic and engagement in less time.

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Let’s begin with a quick summary of cover photos and the best image size to use…

What’s the ideal size for a Facebook cover photo?

820 pixels wide by 462 pixels tall

The best image size to use for your Facebook Page cover photo is … well, it can vary. According to Facebook, your cover photo:

  • Displays at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on your Page on desktops and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones
  • Doesn’t display on non-smartphones
  • Must be at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall
  • Loads fastest as an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes

Whoa, okay. So what does all of that mean?

It means that even though we only get one photo, Facebook is going to use it in two very different ways:

  • in the rectangular format of 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall for desktop;
  • and the ever-so-slightly more squarish format of 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall for mobile.

If you want to use a single image that works pretty well on both desktop and mobile, 820 pixels wide by 462 pixels tall seems to be the best (see example below).

New: Cover video!

You can now use a video, instead of a static cover photo. With a video, you can share more about your business and tell a longer story.

Here are the specifications:

  • It should be at least 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall.
  • It can be 20 to 90 seconds long.

Pro Tip: If you found an image or video that you love and the dimensions are a bit off, you can still use it! You’ll want to choose that image or video (or upload it), and then you’ll be allowed to ‘reposition’ it. With the reposition feature, Facebook is essentially allowing you to crop your cover photo in a way that you think best fits in the space.

Desktop vs. Mobile

It’s great always to be mindful that Facebook Page cover photos on desktops and cover photos on mobile look different.

For example, here’s how a cover photo looks on a desktop:

Facebook cover photo on computer

And here’s how it looks in the Facebook mobile app:

Facebook cover photo on mobile

They look similar, but there is a slight difference:

Facebook cover photo: Computer and mobile difference

On mobile, the top and bottom portions are slightly expanded — by 75 pixels each to be precise — assuming you didn’t reposition the photo. The parts highlighted in red are not shown on your Page when viewed from a computer.

What’s cool here is that Facebook doesn’t stretch and squeeze the same image, they change the crop. This is awesome because it ensures that your image looks its best by not distorting anything.

Desktop sizing guide

With the new Facebook Page design, all the things that used to be on top of your cover photo (such as your profile photo, Page name, Like button, etc.) are moved out of the cover photo — yay!

Facebook cover photo desktop sizing guide

For personal Facebook profiles, your profile photo, your name, and several buttons still overlay the cover photo.

Double check your design on mobile

If you’re using text on your cover photo, like a call-to-action (CTA), you’ll want to pop over to the Facebook mobile app to take a peek just to make sure there’s nothing wonky going on. For example, if your cover photo is not tall enough, the sides of your photo (or a few characters of your CTA) might be cropped away on the mobile app.

How to create your cover photo

If you have some design skills, creating your own cover photo from the ground up using software like Photoshop is an excellent way to go. Going this route allows you to create a pixel-perfect representation of how you want to portray yourself or your business.

Photoshop cover photo templates

To help you to jump straight into designing, we’ve created a Facebook cover photo template (820 x 462px).

Facebook cover photo template

This is how it looks like on desktop and mobile:

Facebook cover photo template on desktop and mobile

You can see an example of this here. (Hat tip to Cover Photo Size Helper – so helpful!)

Here are a few extra details for designers to consider about your Page’s profile picture:

  • Displays at 170×170 pixels on your Page on computers, 128×128 pixels on smartphones, and 36×36 pixels on most non-smartphones
  • Will be cropped to fit a square

We know that we might not all be designers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all have a beautiful Facebook cover photo. Here are some places you can look at to create your cover as well as some tips for making sure it fully represents you and your business.

Your photos

Your Facebook cover photo should be all about you or your business, so why not use one of your photos that represent you?

During our Madrid retreat, we took a team photo, which became our Facebook cover photo for several months.

Buffer Facebook cover photo

Stock photos

If you don’t have any personal photos you would like to share, how about using a beautiful stock photo? We even shared 53 free image sources for you to find the perfect image for your cover photo. My favorite websites to find beautiful stock photos are Unsplash and Pixabay.

If the license of the photo allows, I would encourage you to edit or enhance whatever photo you pick with PabloCanva, or PicMonkey to make it more personal. For example, you could pick one of your favorite quotes and lay it over the photo, and Pablo even has a few beautiful quotes you can pick directly in there.

Canva

If you don’t want to use a photo or if you’d like even more help to create your cover photo, Canva offers pre-made templates for you to use and customize however you would like.

Creating your Facebook cover photo on Canva

To find these templates on Canva, select “More…” when you are creating a design and look for “Facebook cover”.

How to select your cover photo

Now that we know how to create your cover photo, the question is what kind of cover photo you should select? Are there cover photos that work best than others? Let’s investigate.

Best practices

First up, let’s discuss some of the best practices when it comes to a Facebook cover photo. Hubspot has put together a great list of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to cover photos. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Follow Facebook’s guidelines
  • Respect Facebook’s required dimensions (820px wide by 312 px tall for desktops)
  • Stay mainly visual and have a clear focal point
  • Keep in mind how your cover photo will look like on mobile
  • Integrate your cover photo design with the rest of your page

What type of image attracts people?

We looked into some of the components that make images shareable which turned out to be:

  • Emotion: Making people feel, leads them to take action
  • Relevance: Including something that fits with your audience’s interest
  • Colors: Picking the right colors that will lead to the most shares
  • Typography: Choosing the right font that will make your message clear
  • Hashtags and Text: Find the right words that will lead your audience to interact

These components can also be applied to your Facebook cover photo to make people feel a certain way or take a specific action when they come to your page.

For example, Coca-Cola’s cover photo shows several happy young adults clinking their coke bottles. This is likely to be in the hopes of making people feel happy when thinking of Coca-Cola and to make the connection in people’s mind that drinking a coke means happiness. Straightforward and effective!

 Coca-Cola Facebook cover photo

Where do people look?

When coming up with your perfect cover photo, it might be interesting to look into some eye tracking studies. Something that I found particularly interesting in an article from Kissmetrics on the subject is the idea of “directional queues.”

It was found that if you would like to draw attention to a particular item in an image, having a visual queue like a person’s gaze looking at that item will guide viewers to what they should look at next. This could be an interesting way to use a person’s gaze in your Facebook cover photo.

8-baby-face-eye-tracking

Something else Kissmetrics found that might be worth playing around with is to include an element that “pops” in your cover photo. That element should be the one that matters and the one that calls for action.

For example, when HubSpot launched their Summer Startup competition, they changed their cover photo to encourage people to apply.

HubSpot Facebook cover photo

Thinking outside the box

The cover photo is a great way to express yourself but also a way to stand out when people visit your page. Here are some ways you can use your cover photo:

  • Use your cover photo to promote your social media campaigns

Canva Facebook cover photo

  • Change your cover photo based on special occasions, events, sales, or holidays

Carousell Facebook cover video

  • Use your cover photo to send people to a special offer

World Triathlon Facebook cover photo

  • Ask your fans to “Like” your page
  • Ask your fans to share your page
  • Include Easter Eggs that lead fans to a special giveaway or special event

Who does it well? A showcase of great cover photos and videos

Now that we know what makes a good Facebook cover photo, how about we take a look at some of the Pages that do it well? Hopefully, you might find some inspiration 🙂

Photos

Olympic Facebook cover photo

Tesla Facebook cover photo

Adespresso Facebook cover photo

Louis Vuitton Facebook cover photo

Videos

Michigan Facebook cover video

Holstee Facebook cover photo

Pixar Facebook cover video

Over to you

Before I turn it over to you, I have one last cover photo I wanted to share with you… yes you guessed it, it’s the Buffer cover video!

Buffer Facebook cover video

With this video, we wanted something that reflects what Buffer is, and Buffer is nothing without the people behind it.

Our team is such an integral part of Buffer that it makes sense the team would earn the coveted cover photo spot on Facebook. The video also gives a face to the company that people can connect with, and as our community is very important to us, it seems like the perfect choice.

Oh, and by the way: Buffer can help you schedule and analyze your Facebook posts — so you can drive more Facebook traffic and engagement in less time.

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I would love to hear your thoughts

What about you? How do you use your Facebook cover photo? Do you have any tips or suggestions on what makes a good one?

I would love to hear all your thoughts and ideas in the comments so that we can all create the best cover photos ever! 😉

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Written by Alfred Lua

Content Crafter at Buffer. I swim, cycle, and run a lot. When I’m not doing all those, I love to read and try new things.

  • Tom Bird

    Whilst this info is all well and good, it doesn’t account for how the cover image will look on a mobile or tablet device where a large proportion of users will see it. On most mobile devices, the cover image is cropped in heavily on left and right and has heavy gradient on the bottom.

    Based on the examples given, BMW’s cover image would look great on mobile; whereas the Ticketmaster one would look terrible.

    • Hi Tom! You make a really great point about mobile! For some reason I haven’t found much information about the cover photo on mobile. Even Facebook doesn’t seem to have information to make it appear nice there (or maybe I just haven’t found it?).

      I did find this interesting article sharing a trick to make mobile cover photos appear better. It involves creating larger photos (851×475 instead of 851×315) so that they don’t get cut off on mobile (http://room214.com/advertising/facebook-mobile-cover-photo-tips-tricks) could be a good one to try. 🙂

      • I have a new post coming out soon but this is my current solution for mobile optimized cover photos… Going taller and using an overlay to show the hidden areas on desktop.

      • Brian Forbes Colgate

        Either that or using the standard 851x315px size and allowing for the 144px that is trimmed off each side in mobile viewers.

      • Ch Waqar
  • Paige Sjoblom

    Just finished adding some holiday cheer to one of my pages! Before vs. after. This brand always gets good, organic engagement with cover photo updates. It’s well worth it the time in Photoshop or Canva (i use both).

  • Paige Sjoblom

    Just finished adding holiday cheer to one of my pages! Before vs. after. This brand always gets good, organic engagement with cover photo updates. It’s well worth it the time in Photoshop or Canva (i use both).

    • This is fantastic Paige and such a cool way to update both the cover photo and profile picture for the Holidays! Thanks for sharing!!

  • askdrinfo

    Great article

  • Bryan Milne

    Some good suggestions and links, thank you. As you say the cover must work with the profile photo. For a personal page I see the profile as “who” and the cover as either “where” or “current passion”. For a non personal page I see the profile as “author / logo” and the cover as “what”, hope that makes sense. (see photo examples)

    P.S The Buffer cover reminds me of a rowing / paddling team, a very cool image and it says a lot about the company

    • Hi Bryan,

      Thanks for sharing!! I think you make an excellent point between a personal page and non personal page. It’s a great way to think about it! 🙂

  • Great post and useful insights for Facebook covers Sandrine! Do you have any feedback or thoughts on my 3 Facebook covers? Thank you in advance and have a wonderful Wednesday! I am sharing this post with my network. 🙂

    • Bryan Milne

      Hey Steve, if I may chime in, on the top one perhaps lift the photo slightly so that green disk is more in view. You could also lose the “Clothing Supply & Distribution” as “Clothing Store” says it all, if you wanted. Your personal one is very cool!

      P.S I am a fan of Disk Golf, brought a few disks out to SA from USA a few years back.

      • Thanks Bryan for the feedback! I dropped “Clothing Supply & Distribution” on Disc Golf Hats. Happy to connect and do you get to Disc over in SA?

        • Bryan Milne

          Sure thing! I used to play Ultimate regularly as well as the odd round of golf (made up fields in local parks, nothing official) but a young family has slowed that down. As soon as my boys are old enough I will get back into it for sure.

          • It is so fun and it looks like there are 4 Disc Golf courses in South Africa. Here they are : http://bit.ly/1IClEUj Cheers Bryan! 🙂

          • Bryan Milne

            Thanks, I knew about the JHB ones but not the two in the cape. I will check out the closest one,

  • Hi there! That image you showed: “Facebook even provides a really neat graphic” was actually one that *I* made, not Facebook 🙂 But it’s no longer accurate, as the profile pic photo has gotten much smaller. I do have a new one, though: http://louisem.com/34528/facebook-cover-photo-2015-template

  • Derek S. Spalla

    Great post! I have also found this infographic helpful for other types of social media: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/474426141974306647/

  • Albert Varkki

    I liked the size of the cover photo of Von Baer, leather bag company, it’s just like on their website: http://vonbaerbags.com/

  • Josh Amore

    That image breakdown (with clear sizes) is extremely helpful!

  • Too much Impressive and thoughtful information in your write-up.

  • Bravo!!! I’m struggling with my Page’s cover photo. Thanks!

  • I just wrote a blog post (not yet published) about this but I’ve been putting out templates for cover photos for a while.
    Facebook page cover photos are now 828×315. On mobile (iPhone 6) they are 750×420. Expand that to 828 and you get an optimal size of 828×464.
    That’s the size I’m going with these days as it doesn’t get cropped on mobile. My template, used as a kind of mask shows you what gets hidden on desktop.

  • Haresh

    but what about the resolution? should it be 72? 150? 300?

    • All images created for viewing on screen should be 72ppi. 300 and higher are for print.

    • bassdubber

      Create at 300dpi anyway… FB will adjust the image accordingly… but create at 300dpi and downsize if needed.

      FB has a strange way of turning WEB images (72dpi) into crap images… I really wish they would support better image quality!

  • Ethan Moore

    Hi Sandrine,
    You posted great stuff as many of us ignores this point. After reading your post I really got to know that, Choosing Ideal Facebook cover photo is really important factor.

    – Ethan

  • Marilyn Dela Pierre Pasana

    Hi Stuart ! I saw your website with nice images ..I guess I will recommend your website to my friends to use some of your images for Facebook Profiles.

  • Heather Bodlak

    Hi! Then why are we creating images with the 851×315 dimensions if they are going to be reduced horizontally to 828 (ie, squished)?? Why not create images that are directly 828×315… *confused*

  • Wordsmith Khaleque

    Very useful and easy to understand wed page. Thank you for your worthy web page.

  • Karolina

    I have problem with event cover in FB. It does look good in computer and mobile. But when somebody shares the event, then the cover showing is the worst part of the event cover, where nothing is visible. Does anybody know how to make a proper event cover, good for computer, mobile and looking good when shared?

    Thank You so much!

  • Hey guys, have you got any tips for making the image look good on a retina screen? We just did a post on social media images and I was surprised to find we couldn’t find a solution to this. The best we could do is to choose a photo where the focal point is large and therefore not as obviously pixelated.

  • My Covers

    Great post. Thanks for sharing this. I have a nice website to share with you guys. It has all the Facebook covers in the right size and you can print your name on it as well. http://www.mycovers.net/

  • Birthday Wisher

    I like this post .I found a nice website where you can get timelime covers which can generate your name also Thanks .

    http://www.mycovers.net/

  • dan pre

    that’s awesome description in detail thanks adsense

  • Digital VayanaShala

    Do you have a latest one? (today is August 7, 2016)

  • B.

    Is this no longer accurate? It appears to me that the profile pic no longer covers the cover photo. It not appears to its left.

  • Ch Waqar

    Everybody is wondering about Facebook cover photo dimensions. We are here to tell you the exact size which is most suitable for you.

    The best size for Facebook Timeline Cover Photo should be:
    851 x 315 px
    If you make the photo of this size, it will definitely fit on your Facebook Timeline. If you are feeling lazy in creating your own cover, you need not to worry at all. Feel free to click here and get your favorite covers.
    Hope you enjoy this post. http://www.mycovers.net

  • Hi @sosandrine:disqus . Thanks for the great article on Facebook Cover Image design! I really appreciated all the detail you put into the post, the scannability of it, and most all, all the image examples. It is often hard to keep up with Facebook’s ever-changing, ever-growing designs. Thanks for such great coverage!

    PS: Here are some of the Facebook Banners I’ve built. Any advice is appreciated.

  • KKaruna Chauhan

    Great Pics. Refreshing

  • Avatar Creator

    Hi Sandrine..
    Nice Article.. Thank to You.. I create 851x315px for my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AvatarCreatornet-1835760526666486/

    Is there any info for twitter cover size?

    FYI: for social media profile you can use our web app to create your own avatar, try at https://www.avatarcreator.net

  • JP

    I have a problem with the size that is posted for cover photos on Facebook. If I make the pic 851 x 315 or 820 x 312 it is still to wide for the area on the FB page. Can some one please tell me what the measurement is in inches for the slot provided on FB? As it is with those pixels 11 or so inches wide is still to big and we lose part of what we are trying to put up.

  • Am I correct that the template overlay in your downloadable psd template is no longer applicable? I’m not sure if it displays this way because I am admin or if this is how it looks now and I need to re-create image without any template overlay.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cece8a2ab63a0255ce419f98ab901c5a8986c1fb1f26a96c19b349a9938be719.png

    • Radioactivegurl2

      I was wondering the same thing. I am the admin for @PutneyCares, and mine came out the same way.