Top social networks: Guide to images for company pages

Are you setting up social network profiles for your business? Or maintaining social media which already exists? Either way, it’s important to make sure your pages and profiles look their best.

If you’re updating your company logos, re-branding, or simply want to change images to give your page a refresh, then it’s important to ensure you know the right image dimensions, file sizes and positioning for each social network. So we’ve compiled the requirements in once place.

When looking at logo designs, always keep in mind that social media generally requires versions which will work in a rectangular landscape format (Cover images), and also a version which will work as a smaller, square image (Profile images).

 

Facebook  Pages Images:

TWOTWFacebookScreengrab
There are two images to maintain for a Facebook page.

  • Cover Photo: This should be 851 pixels wide x 315 tall. Smaller images must be at least 399 pixels wide and will be stretched to this larger size. Smaller file sizes will help quicker load times, and Facebook recommended a .jpg which is less than 100kb in size.
    They must include no more than 20% text.
  • Profile Picture: This should be at least 180 x 180 pixels square, which will then be displayed at 160 x 160 pixels. Leave space around your image or text to allow for cropping of the image.

Cover photo guidelines state that you should use a unique image to represent your page which can’t be ‘deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright or be in violation of the Page Terms. You may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines.’

You should also account for your profile image being displayed on top of your cover photo, which is a 160×160 square starting 23 pixels from the left edge.

 

Twitter Profile Images:

TWOTWTwitterScreengrab
A Twitter page requires three images to be complete. Photo and Header Images are located under Account settings. Background images are changed under the Design setting.

  • Photo Image: The photo image appears throughout Twitter. It’s a 73 x 73 pixel square, with larger files able to be uploaded. File size can be up to 2MB in JPG, GIF or PNG formats.
  • Header Image: This appears behind your profile information on your Twitter page. It’s recommended to be 1252 wide x 626 high, and with a maximum file size of 5MB.
  • Background Image: The background image can be up to 2MB in size, with no fixed dimensions as you can choose to Tile your image if desired, although we wouldn’t recommend it! In general, a 1600×1200 .JPG image will be the right dimensions for your Twitter background.

When designing a Background Image, remember that the navigation menus on a Twitter profile will take up significant space beside the Twitter feed. Limit graphics to under 200 pixels from the left-hand edge to ensure they can be seen clearly.

 

Google+ Page Images:

TWOTWGoogle+Screengrab
Two images are needed for the Google+ page for your company:

  • Profile Picture: These have recently been changed to display as a circular profile image, meaning that your 250 x 250 square dimensions now need to account for circular cropping with plenty of space around the focal point of your image.
  • Cover Photo: Cover photos are now displayed in a 16:9 ratio, with a size of 2120 wide x 1192 high to display properly.

 

Youtube Channel image sizes:

TWOTWYoutubeScreengrab
As another Google property, the new ‘One Channel’ designs for Youtube are similar in some ways to Google+. Again, there are two images required:

  • Profile Picture: Currently still a square image, so we use a 240 x 240 square which then displays at smaller sizes.
  • Channel Art: A single 2560 x 1440 pixel image which can be optimised to display properly on different devices with a safe 1546×423 central area which works across platforms, a wide area for tablets, larger desktop displays, and the full image on TVs. A template is available to download from Youtube’s help page.

Notice that on your page, the Profile Picture will sit in the top left of your Channel Art.

 

LinkedIn Company Page Images:

TWOTWLinkedInScreengrab

LinkedIn requires 3 images for a company page.

  • Image: 2MB PNG, JPG or GIF, which must be 646×220 pixels or larger.
  • Standard Logo: Max 2MB PNG, JPG or GIF which will be re-sized to 100×60 pixels.
  • Square Logo: Max 2MB PNG, JPG or GIF which will be re-sized to 50×50 pixels.

Don’t forget to click Publish after adding your Image, or it won’t be saved.

 

Flickr Profile Image Requirements:

FlickrCoverImage

Photo sharing site Flickr has unveiled a new design effective from May 21, 2013, which now includes a Cover Photo on the profile page for every user.

The selection of photos for both Cover Photos and Avatars are both limited to either new uploads or Recent Photos.

  • Cover Photo: There’s no official size guidelines, but looking at how the page displays above, the Cover Photos is approximately 1349 pixels wide by 235 pixels high. The Flickr navigation menu stretches 45 pixels down across the top of the image, with the username, avatar image, and other information stretching up 120 pixels from the bottom.
  • Profile Photo: 300 x 300 pixels square

 

 

General profile tips:

There are numerous other social networks which we could have also included, ranging from Pinterest and Instagram to Reddit and Stumbleupon. Most simply require a square profile image, but let us know if you’d like to see any additions to our list above.

We’ll keep this page updated with the latest changes, so it might be worth bookmarking us, or following us on one of the above social networking sites to make sure you’re up with the latest designs.

Data, Sharing and Over-Sharing

Data is one of the biggest trends at the moment – it’s interesting to see the amount of coverage given to the recently announced integration between Nike’s Fuelband and the Path social network, for example.

What’s interesting to me about this is that the Nike Fuelband is essentially a very cool fitness tracking bracelet, which continues the Nike+ tracking and sharing trend. If you’ve tracked your run etc 5 or more times, it’s extremely likely to now be a habit you’ll continue, and the more social you are, the more likely you’ll keep it going to pass that early barrier.

That’s one side to it, the other struck me as I was distracted by the stats on my Last.fm profile.

Will social networks be defined by how much is shared?

Obviously there have already been attempts to create new social networks around the selling point of user privacy, and so far none have really achieved the kind of meteoric success of the big social sites.

What I’m thinking about is something slightly different in the way the networks are perceived and gain users, and it struck me as I posted on Facebook about how I don’t automatically feed every Spotify track into Facebook, but they’re all available as scrobbled by Last.fm (In 5 years I’ve scrobbled 14,524 songs to Last.fm which if you took an average of 4 minutes per track would be 58096 minutes, 968.26 hours, or 40 days worth).

What I’m thinking of is something like the following split:

  • Least shared data: Twitter. No requirement for real names, or details. Big asynchronous groups.
  • Average: Facebook. Suggests using real data (although you can get around it). Slightly smaller groups and closer to ‘real’ friends.
  • Most shared data:  Path. Integrate and share absolutely everything with a smaller, closer group of friends.

Will data sharing and data services start to shape our attraction to certain networks in an equal fashion to who we know is actually using them? Does the social aspect of sharing fitness data with other people in training equal the social aspect of connecting with my family whose interests on Facebook may rarely intersect with my own?

If we take Facebook as the standard sharing benchmark due to the massive user numbers, there’s definitely a skew towards much more sharing than ever before (Obviously some will have a locked down FB profile with a fair bit of effort required). Will we see a world of people addicted to data sharing looking to go beyond what FB can offer, or a greater number of people looking for more privacy and less automatic sharing?

These aren’t absolutes, and there will always be people heading in both directions, but I’m intrigued to see on which side the see-saw starts leaning.

Seesaw

Do you think many people will continue to silo the data in the most appropriate communities (e.g music on last.fm, books on Goodreads, fitness on a running forum etc), or will they look for one central data hub social network to rule them all?

Facebook’s Trending Articles – adding irrelevance into my network

Facebook started testing ‘Trending Articles’ roughly a week ago, but they’ve appeared in my own account for the first time today. Now below the latest update from my network, I get a block displaying 5 articles read by someone connected to me, like so (name of friend removed as who knows whether they want it displayed publicly)

FacebookTrendingArticlesI have the vaguest idea that this might be about American Football – a sport I rarely watch as I’m not a big fan, and it’s not freely available in the UK. In fact, none of the 5 highlighted stories were particularly interesting or relevant.

Partly that’s because my Facebook network is a network of friends, family, present and former colleagues and other people I’ve met over the last few years. So many of the people on there may not share similar interests to me – I don’t keep in touch with my 2nd cousin because of her knowledge of SEO, Social Media or 3D Printing for example.

And partly it’s because there’s no way for me to indicate which stories might actually be interesting and allow Facebook to learn more about what to show me – it’s not being cross-referenced against my listed interests as far as I can see.

Not only that, but there’s no way to remove or minimise it from my stream, and it’s designed to blend it well enough I can see a mistaken click on the lone ‘Share’ button is likely to happen more than once.

 

How Google missed a trick:

And possibly the saddest part of this is that I used to have the perfect mechanisms for finding articles from people I knew which I always found interesting. In addition to Twitter, my favourite way to get stories from friends and contacts was via Google Reader – it meant that the people I followed had made a decision to publicly share something from their stream which led to a far higher signal to noise ratio as I was able to select people with relevant interests from within my network, see everything they’d shared quickly and easily, and remove anyone who wasn’t quite in sync with what I wanted.

Obviously Google dropped that to pursue Google+, but that network has emulated Facebook in providing a lot of noise around the things I actually want. And yet Google has 6+ years of data on what I actively click and share via Reader, what I search for, and what I list as my interests on my profiles.

 

The saddest thing is that as publishers are finally moving towards embracing digital more and more as their core medium, the social networks seem to be moving towards interruption as a way to force up their figures and revenue. And while everyone complains about spam and misdirection in search results, at least there is an incentive for Google and Bing to try to curb the tide of paid links and dodgy manipulation in SEO, whereas there’s no such recourse on each social network.

 

The user experience of sex…

Really interesting video of Tor Myrhen, the President and Chieft Creative Officer of Grey New York using the tale of how he lost his virginity at age 14 to compare the user experience of the process between 1986 and 2011.

It’s a good reminder of how technology may change, but at their core people don’t, and how although the core desires and motivations remain identical, the ways in which we communicate and connect do lead to different interactions and outcomes. But where it goes further for me is in the repercussions of those changes and how they may have an effect on the way our core desires now manifest themselves

Desire in the connected age:

I’m not much younger than Myrhen, so most of the references are pretty familiar, particularly skateboarding. I actually have a VHS cassette that a friend put together of a group of us hanging out and attempting to skate from around 20 years ago, and I wonder whether I’d have let myself be filmed if I thought anyone outside of the five of us would ever see it? I’d still want to be an awesome skater, and I’d still suck, so would I dare go near a board if I thought it would end up on Facebook and Youtube in minutes?

Given the public nature of connections, would I have pursued the same girls, or had the same serendipitous moments of mutual interest? And would my friends have been using technology to screw them up more effectively than they managed in real life?

And when some of those teen romances inevitably ended, what implications does it have when it’s announced publicly on social networks, with an almost micro-celebrity level of PR regarding who was dumped, whose story gets out first, and who gets blamed?

As Myhren says, all of the data that got shared on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and indexed by Google, is essentially around for eternity, or at least as long as those companies are with us, so flashing forward 20 years in my own life, what effects does that have on me now? In my 30s in 1986 it would have taken a lot of effort to track down past friends and girlfriends if I was feeling nostalgic, compared to a quick search on Google and some social networks – I’m in regular contact with three of my best friends that I met living in the U.S despite being terrible at keeping in touch before the broadband revolution really took off in the UK, for example.

Out of curiousity, after seeing this, I did a quick check to see how many ex-girlfriends I could track down with barely any effort, and without revealing my personal quantitative data, I managed about 70% success in about an hour. Does that change what happens with regards to nostalgia and ‘ending’ relationships which can be so easily resumed? Does it mean that although the desire for a quick romance still exists for many people, the reality is that it’s always easy for one party to at least attempt to resume it online, whether or not that leads to problems?

After all, the rules and guidelines of society, whether legal, religious, or community generated have all come about to enable humans to combine their core desires with the need to live, work and exist together in a fairly mutually acceptable way. So given that those rules and guideliness are changing at a faster pace than ever due to the speed of technological change, are we going to cope with the new rules and guidelines, and what does that mean for our kids? We can talk about digital natives seeing the internet and mobile as natural parts of their lives, but our kids and grandkids will still have the same core desires that we’ve had for centuries. The difference will be how they reconcile them with the world around them, both digital and physical.

 

 

What’s in a crowdsourcing….

I was going to write an eloquent and heartfelt post regarding everything that’s wrong about the attempt by Golley Slater to rebrand by a hamfisted attempt at ‘crowdsourcing’ – another example why really we should be stricter about how the term is used, and why co-collaboration should probably replace it.

But then I spotted the always interesting Andrea Phillips had beaten me to is on her blog, Deus Ex Machinatio. Worth reading the post if you’re interested in ever trying to actually achieve something productive using crowdsourcing mechanics, and also if you’re interested in transmedia and game design/mechanics etc.

So I’ll get back to working and trying not to lose myself in playing with Google +. Despite being touted initially as a ‘Facebook killer’, it actually seems more and more people are coming round to thinking of it as a potential rival to Twitter in the curation of streams of content. Similar to how Twitter might have evolved lists, or how Tweetdeck used them to create a more workable interface at scale.

 

The thought process has changed…

So it used to be a case of having a thought, and then deciding whether to act on it. Now that’s changed as I have to:

  • Tweet it with a short link and hashtag
  • Then Facebook it, ideally with a picture
  • Then give it a businesslike description for LinkedIn.
  • Then +1 it, with a few more words
  • Then Tumblr it, ideally with the picture and a link
  • Then blog it here, with a lot more words
  • Then Stumble that post with a nice description
  • Then bookmark it with Diigo and Delicious
  • And maybe bung it on Reddit, Digg or HackerNews.
  • Oh, and maybe any relevant old school forums

And then I need to monitor all of those sites for social validation that it wasn’t a terrible idea. Or I could just decide for myself anyway and go right ahead and get the minimum viable product out there – is it any wonder that the ratio of stuff actually being created to the amount of required self-promotion deemed necessary for success is becoming so skewed?

 

 

The importance of experiencing your community

When talking about community-building or social media, it’s easy to suggest you should be part of it. And that’s not too hard to do if the community in question is something you already identify with.

Pearl Jam performing at Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park

Pearl Jam performing at Hard Rock Calling

The chance to go and just be a normal fan on Friday when Pearl Jam played Hyde Park reminded me exactly how much I’ve identified with music and bands throughout my life, and how much of a social experience it is, even when you lose your group of friends in your quest to get to the front of the crowd (In my defence, I’ve liked Pearl Jam for almost 20 years, and hadn’t seen them live until now!).

It was just as easy when I worked in motorcycling and cars – I can thank my father for that one, with some of our earliest family outings to car shows and Rallycross. And that was followed by lifts from school on the back of his motorcycle.

But it’s important to occasionally have normal fan experiences, even if it’s a subject you’ve got a close affinity to. Because otherwise you forget the priviledged experienc eyou have as a member of the media, for example.

And it’s even more important if you’re working with communities you’re not familiar with. If you’re working with an unfamiliar subject matter, it’s time to search through friends and family and find some people who might share that interest. And it’s also important to find some members of any existing community to talk with.

It’s not because you can’t find out a lot by using online monitoring tools, research papers, blogs, etc.

It’s because there’s still nothing like seeing the look on someone’s face or their eyes light up when they’re discussing a subject they’re passionate about – and that’ll infect the work you do and give you a far better respect for that subject than anything else you’ll do. And if you don’t love the subject yourself, the best you can hope is to immerse yourself in their love for it.

Using the power of Twitter for hypnosis (And marketing)

British hypnotist Chris Hughes is intending to set a record for the largest online hypnosis session via webcast on Monday, January 4th, at 8.30pm GMT.

Apparently he’ll test those that signed up in a 30 minute session for susceptibility to hypnosis, and then ‘Socialtrance‘ will begin.  Epileptics, pregnant women and those under the influence of drugs and alcohol shouldn’t take part, and the aim is to apparently put people in a good place for 2010 as well as introducing them to hypnosis.

And interestingly, although the webcast itself will be done via audio, so all you need is a net connection, comfy chair and headphones, you need to sign up via your Twitter or Facebook account. Which obviously then sends out a message on your behalf to say you’ve signed up. (Examples)

‘Just registered for #socialtrance, the online hypnosis world record attempt with Chris Hughes. Get involved! http://bit.ly/socialtrance

It’s been reported in several places that he’s planning to hypnotis people via Twitter, which obviously isn’t true – but it ties into Twitter hype far better than ‘Hypnotist markets online hypnosis session via Twtter’!

Either way, it seems to be working, with just under 5000 people signed up to attend with a little under 48 hours to go – especially considering he originally aimed for around 2000. Whether or not people will turn up, or indeed fall under hypnosis is another matter, but it’s definitely further proof that unusual events and concepts can market themselves pretty well simply by building in connectivity to Twitter and Facebook – which can then lead to media coverage – which then builds on the Twitter and Facebook marketing.

FriendsReunited advert – wtf?

I’m almost speechless.

Where to start?

So FriendsReunited is now owned by Brightsolid, a subsidiary of comic publisher DC Thompson, which paid £25 million in August but still hasn’t added the sites to the official website. (edit: This is due to the fact the purchase is being looked at by regulators, and is therefore not complete). And their first move is to buy traditional TV advertising?

Unless…

The fact that Brightsolid owns findmypast.com and the advert clearly positions GenesReunited on an equal footing to FriendsReunited gives one indication where things are going. And GR has around 10 million registered members, so there’s some potential there.

Which is why the advert seems to channel the same style and messaging as ads for stairlifts and services which will write your will. But that group already has their own social network if they’re not keen on Facebook.

So ignore FriendsReunited – as most people have. First Myspace, then Facebook came and won that battle, and nothing short of a new proposition will unsettle them. It’s in the genes, and white-label dating sites that Brightsolid will have seen the value of the purchase. The only reason I can see for influding even a mention of FriendsReunited in the advert is a more familiar name to draw people into GenesReunited. Although I’m not convinced that a social network mostly populated by tumbleweed billowing across the plains is an association really worth making…