Have you been Facebook profile photo munged?
There is nothing more disappointing, when uploading a photo to Facebook, than to have it munged. What’s a munge? That’s a technical term for any time a piece of digital media becomes distorted, pixelated, blurred, or otherwise fucked up.
Recently I sent one of my prize winners, author Karin Rochelle, their one-of-a-kind piece of art, only to see it on her profile in a sad pixelated state. Now, you must understand, I make massive images. There is no reason for it to ever look pixelated. So I asked how she uploaded it and walked her through fixing the problem. In the middle of that, it occurred to me that maybe all the pixelated and blurry images, which I had seen posted on Facebook over the years, were not actually low quality when people uploaded them. It also occurred to me that maybe other people could use a few simple tips for making their Facebook images show up nice.
Uhhh… No. Not in the bedroom and especially not in the Facebook boudoir. If your image is too large, Facebook is going to try to crush it down to size. Talk about a cold shower. It’s better if you do this, rather than trust Facebook’s automated system. There are a multitude of programs on the internet for doing this and I’m not going to go into the pros and cons. I use Photoshop. It’s expensive. Try gimp if you need something free. You want a ‘web ready’ image. Photographers, and people doing print, use 300 dpi. The internet runs on 72 dpi. Make sure your new image is saved with that dpi, not 300 dpi. If you upload a 300 dpi image to Facebook, the system will change it.
- Do not overwrite your old image.
- Save it under a new name.
- There is no way to get that lovely 300 dpi image back once its gone.
- You can reduce down, but not up.
Cock cage? Really?
The second aspect of size is, quite frankly, size. And here is where a cock cage for your image would come in really handy. Get that image in control, man, or Facebook will do it for you, and it’s going to hurt like hell! This Facebook page will tell you that the image you load up for a Facebook profile should be 180 X 180 pixels. Great! So upload your 180 x 180 image and watch it turn to pixels. ::sigh:: Yes, I’ve had that experience. It will always look fine in the tiny profile pic, and the thumbnail at that size. But it will show up pixelated on the news feed, your timeline, and when people click on it.
So here’s the trick. Upload a bigger image. Yes I know, cock cage and all that. But the thing about a cock cage is that it does allow some growth, just not too much, and that’s what we want here. Not too big, not too small, just right… This is starting to sound like some kind of warped Goldilocks’ story. Create an image that is 720 on its longest side. Facebook will not compress that size or lower, hence avoiding all weirdness, blurring, and pixelating messes.
Before you start stretching your 120 x 120 tiny graphics, stop! That will put us back into the munge category. Instead create a solid background that is at least 180 and at most 720 and place your tiny image in the center of this. Yay!
Now save it. As a png. I have tried both jpg and png and the png stays crisper on Facebook. So now I save almost all my images for Facebook as a png. I also try to only use pngs for featured images on my website. That way when I share stuff it looks great.
If you have made it this far, you should have a 72 dpi image that is larger than 180 x 180 pixels and smaller than 720 on its longest side. Let’s get that baby loaded onto Facebook. Choose change profile, upload, find the image, and we come to the crop image page. Don’t do it! Resist! This option is for the person who is uploading a 2000 pixel image. It’s too late for them. The munge monster has already taken a painful bite out of their ass. But you have done your homework and your photo is ‘just right’ so you do not need this option. This is just the munge monster’s last-ditch effort to get your image. At the bottom right corner is an option to skip cropping. Click it. Ahhh… I feel better already , knowing you have made this choice.
Once you have skipped the cropping you will land in a confusing choice which looks nearly identical to the last one. This one you want to use. Choose the area that you want to show up in your profile thumbnail, and you’re done. Bravo!
You’re done. I can not even begin to express how relieved we both feel. You thwarted the munge monster from eating your profile images once and for all. Somewhere there is an angry little creature gnawing on its foot, I”m sure.
- Find a program for resizing your image.
- Do not overwrite the original image. Save under a new name.
- Make it web ready – 72 dpi
- Make it the right size – larger than 180 x 180 pixels and smaller than 720 on its longest side
- Do not use the Facebook crop tool.
Like the info? Drop me a link to your profile image. I’d love to see your munge monster massacring pics.