Note: Since this post was written, the requirement of less than 20% text for cover photos has also been removed. More about that specific rule here.
If you’ve been managing a company page on Facebook, you’ll probably be used to tiptoeing around Facebook’s guidelines on what is permitted on your cover photo.
If you’ve got no idea that there even were such rules, then it may be that you’re in fact blissfully aware of the hyper-regulatory nature of the original Facebook cover photo rules. It may also mean that you haven’t yet read our helpful tutorial on How to set up your company Facebook page, so that’s something you may want to read next!
Back to the Facebook cover photo rules, though. They used to state:
Covers may not include:
1. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
2. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
3. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
4. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
These were rules regularly enforced by Facebook, too, with a spate of the social networking site’s users reportedly having had their Facebook cover photos removed for apparent breaches.
All of those specific conditions have recently disappeared from the Facebook guidelines. The rules relating to cover photos are now limited to the following:
All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. 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. Covers may not include images with more than 20% text.
So, no more restrictions on call to actions! Except for quantity of text. Let’s take a look at that.
How does Facebook calculate the text percentage?
Facebook explains that it calculates the text percentage using a grid.
In this first example, there is text in only one square out of the 25 – so the calculated percentage is 4% and well within the guidelines.
In the example below, Facebook would consider the text to cover 32% of the area (eight our of 25 units) and deem it Unacceptable. Ba – barrrmmm.
This 20% limit applies not only to cover images, but to any image you post. Even your inspirational quote should not be too verbose!
While we’re making sure It’s worth taking note of Facebook’s other guidelines for the cover photo, available in the Facebook ‘help’ section:
What are the guidelines for my Page’s cover photo?
Use a unique image that represents your Page. This might be a photo of a popular menu item, album artwork or a picture of people using your product. Be creative and experiment with images your audience responds well to.
All cover photos are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the cover photo. Coverphotos can’t be deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright or be in violation of the Pages Terms. You may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines.
So unique cover photos remain the best way to keep it fresh and to keep on the right side of the nebulous social media copyright debate.
Common sense restrictions also apply including nudity and horror. For more on this you might like to visit the Facebook Help Centre.