How much time do you spend creating a social media image?

Two minutes? Twenty minutes? An hour or more?

I’ve done it all! I’ve been down those rabbit holes when you suddenly realize that you’ve been searching for the perfect picture or agonizing over the best font for forty-five minutes (yikes!).

We know that social images are important but they can also be really time consuming. That’s why we created Pablo — the simplest way for anyone to create social media images.

Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ve made social image creation even more seamless with the launch of the Pablo Chrome extension!

Let’s take a deeper look at how the extension can simplify your life and help boost your social engagement.

Create Social Media Images

No Need To Download & Upload Pictures Ever Again

In the last few months we’ve spoken with dozens of social media managers and small business owners. One theme that’s emerged is how much time you could save by cutting out even one step in the image creation process.

For many people, this is a typical workflow for creating a social image:

  • Find an interesting picture online.
  • Download it.
  • Upload it to Pablo or another image creation app.
  • Create social image.

With the Pablo extension you can skip the downloading and uploading steps, effectively cutting your image creation time in half!

For example, just a few hours ago I read a fantastic blog post about how to improve website copy. I wanted to share the article on Twitter and include a social image to make it stand out.

Ordinarily I would have had to search for a picture, download it, and then upload it to Pablo. Instead, I simply used the Pablo extension to select an image from within the article!

The picture was automatically pulled into Pablo where I added a few effects before Buffering the post.

Here’s a sample Pablo workflow, where you can see the two middle steps completely cut out. You can import images from any website straight into Pablo in as little as a single click.

  1. Find the perfect picture.
  2. Either right-click the image and select Pablo or click the Pablo button that appears in the bottom right corner of the picture.
  3. Create your Pablo!

Pablo extension

Highlight Text To Create A Social Image

Creating an engaging image from a blog excerpt, customer testimonial or any other type of text could never be easier. Here’s how to go about this with the new Pablo extension:

  1. Select the text you’d like to share.
  2. Right-click on the text or click the Pablo extension button in the toolbar.
  3. Create your Pablo!

The selected text appears automatically within Pablo, and you can then choose the perfect background image, effects, and more.

Pablo Extension 4

Easily Launch Pablo

One key detail we learned after speaking to Pablo users is how difficult it can be to find the Pablo website (and yes, that was totally our bad)!

Many people discover Pablo via the Buffer blog but then struggle to locate it later on for subsequent visits.

We’ve solved this problem by making it easy to launch Pablo right from your browser, using the extension. Simply click the extension button in your toolbar and a new Pablo tab opens up.

Pablo Extension Button

What Else Is New In Pablo?

Along with the extension, we’ve also added a few new features to improve your social image creation process:

  • Save Your Custom Logos: Once you upload your custom logo into a Pablo image, it will be automatically saved so that you don’t need to upload it each time you use Pablo.
  • Turn Off Text: You can now create social images without any text within Pablo. Simply toggle off the text on the right side panel.


Pablo Extension 5

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What Will You Create?

We hope that the Pablo extension makes social image creation that much simpler for you.

We’d love to hear any feedback about the extension and other Pablo features, so don’t be shy to let us know. We can’t wait to see the images you create with it!

Image: Unsplash

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Written by Roy Olende

Product Researcher at Buffer. Master negotiator (convinced the most incredible woman in the world to marry me). Prototypical Kenyan dad. Arsenal fan since ’89.

  • United States of Bonerland

    Fantastic update! I’ve been waiting for a Pablo Chrome extension since Pablo launched. The feature set is nice, too. Excited to try this out.

  • This is like Buffer meets Twitshot. I like it.
    Thanks for the great work!

    • Roy Olende

      Cheers, Logan. Hope it makes social image creation easier for you! 🙂

  • FlyGirlsMedia

    Hey, great idea. Is there any issue using copyrighted images when we share on social media – and how do we know if an image is protected or not? Thanks!

    • Roy Olende

      Great question! From my experience, most images would have a link or description detailing how/if it’s protected. If you’re interested, there’s a great article about online image usage over at Social Media Examiner — hope the details in there are helpful. 🙂

  • Daniel Townsend

    Thanks for the tip about highlighting text to create a social image. I’ve been using the extension for a few days and didn’t know it could do that. You just saved me a little more time.

    • Roy Olende

      So glad that helps, Daniel!

  • Great stuff 🙂 Hope you make one for Safari too !

  • Rachel G

    Awesome job, Buffer team! But won’t there be any image copyright implications?

    • Roy Olende

      Great question, Rachel. We definitely encourage anyone who uses the extension (or creates social images any other way they choose) to do the right thing when it comes to image copyrights. 🙂

      • scmurley

        Yeah, you might want to mention that you’re using licensed photos and not just grabbing people’s photos – and social media people shouldn’t either. Happens A LOT more than people want to admit. :/

      • scmurley

        That said, this sounds like an awesome extension.

  • Seems cool, but it really feels like it is basically condoning copyright infringement.

    • Roy Olende

      Thanks for your perspective here. 🙂 We really value the skill, time and energy creatives put into their work and encourage everyone to do the right thing when it comes to image copyrights.

      • Hey Roy, maybe I’m missing something here but how exactly – inside the actual UX for Pablo or the Pablo terms & conditions (which I could not find) – are you encouraging users to double check that they have the proper rights to the images they upload? It seems to me that (at minimum) you would make sure that the metadata of the original image was maintained in the final version but that’s not the case.

      • As such it would be great if a) a T&C for pablo would be easy to find and b) provide proper information how the “50.000+ images” which I can use from the left side actually are set up with their usage rights.
        Without any information on that I have to assume those are not cleared by usage rights and will set up everybody using them for costly notices.

        tl;dr: Provide proper usage right information for the images in pablo which are not uploaded / taken from webpages by me.

        • Roy Olende

          Such a great point here!

          We’ve been really slow to get our T&C up…that’s totally on us. We’re just now putting that together and it should be up shortly.

          Thank you so much Nicole for pointing this out. 🙂

  • This is a dream come true! Thank you Buffer!

    • Roy Olende

      Glad you like it, Luke! 🙂

  • Tom

    Terrific idea Roy and Buffer team!

    This way, i don’t have to spend long hours just to create the social image I want. and the way it works is really built for social media marketers who’s always on the fly.

    Another, great resource. Sharing this to my e-folks in a few moments. 😉

  • Very interesting and looking forward to trying it. Will it function the same when I use the Buffer App from my iPad or Android Tablet ?

  • Can you use the Images created with Pablo with other platforms like Email Newsletter or another Post not using Buffer ?

  • you are always doing great jobs, guys and I’m amazed to be a client of yours.

    Just want you to know that on my theme, I cannot make Buffer overlays work anymore as the button “disappear” when trying to click them

    Do you experience the same issue?
    This is a sample URL:

    http://timelapsenetwork.com/interviews/talk-360-milky-timelapses-aaron-priest/

    thanks for having a look

  • Beantown Review

    While I enjoyed your post as well as Pablo (which I need to use more) I do have to say that Arsenal sucks. What a loss on Saturday! And they’ve got a great Turkish player on their team too.

  • Kathleen Cook

    Thanks so much for creating Pablo Buffer Team! I’m new to creating images and thanks to Pablo (and the comments below for some clarity on copyright issues) I’m excited to create!

  • Awesome one…
    thank you….

  • Adam Lee

    This is a nice article. This is definitely useful. Informative article . Great Post! There is so much you have mentioned where so much can be learned.

    I’d like to share this with you – http://nepal.intex.in/

  • Any chance of getting a Firefox extension anytime soon? Not that I wouldn’t switch only for Pablo, of course 😀

  • Thumbs UP! This is going to be a great tool for creating social media images for my blog http://www.kodingmadesimple.com/ . Now I don’t have to spend long hours pondering over fonts and colors and other things.

    Thanks for this useful chrome extension!

  • Arpit Verma

    One thing I learned from Buffer. How to make your own simple and beautiful product more complicated and useless. #Pablo
    It’s literally a disaster to make single photograph there

  • dany noyman