Cover photos

Risk of changing sizes

For the past month or so, I have been adding a number of images in the sizes of Facebook and Google+ cover photos. When I take photographs, I am starting to ask myself if the image will work as a cover photo for Facebook or Google+. It can be a challenge, though an enjoyable one, even if occasionally pictures do not turn out as I had intended.

There are some sites that specialize in providing images as cover photos for a specific product, but there is a huge risk with running such sites, becasue the size of the cover photo can change, without warning. If the size changes, then that will deprive the site of its main purpose and attraction to the audience. The owners of such sites are not in control of the size of the cover photo, and are not in the position to influence the decisions made by coompanies such as Facebook and Google. Google+, for example, has changed the size of the cover photos a few times since its launch. Initially, the cover consisted of 5 square images, then Google changed it into a long banner of 940 pixels wide and 180 pixels tall, and more recently, it has adopted a 16:9 ratio with a recommended size of 960 pixels wide and 540 pixels tall.

Some sizes may be useful for other purposes than as cover photos. For instance, 16:9 is a ratio that might be useful as a large image on a blog or a website, or even as the background image or a wallpaper for a mobile device. In contrast, dimensions such as 940 × 180, the previous Google+ cover photo, or 851 × 315, the current Facebook cover photo, may be less versatile. On this site, I had added a few images in the size of 940 × 180 intended as Google+ cover photos, which have become obsolete for that purpose as Google changed the size of the cover photo, but I am keeping them on the site, and keep adding to the collection, perhaps less frequently compared to other sizes, in the hope that they will be of use for someone somewhere.

Creating cover photos is a hobby for me, and I intend to continue adding new images, new sizes and new ratios, perhaps 1252x626 (2:1) for Twitter, and adapt to changes, as occasions arise and time allows, whilst keeping the existing images, though I do hope the cover photo sizes won’t change that frequently.