Facebook Timeline For Pages: Cover Photo Rules

This is part of a series of posts about getting set up on Facebook Timeline for Pages.

Okay, so we can no longer create a landing page for all non-fans who attempt to visit our new Facebook Timeline. But we can still add creative calls to action and little salesy-type graphics to our cover photo, right? That’s what that’s for, right?

Think again, my friend. Facebook does not want you to do that. Here are the cover photo rules that you need to understand before publishing (emphasis is mine):

Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

All cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the image you choose. Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.

I keep reading that there are “four new rules.” Sure, if you only count bullets. But there are a few more items that you need to consider in the little paragraph below those all-important bullets.

In other words, don’t do this…

Bad Cover Photo Facebook Timeline for Pages

The reason Facebook would do this is pretty obvious. You are trying to advertise on Facebook without buying Facebook ads. They need that revenue.

My advice: The goal of your cover photo should be to tell your brand’s story. Show why it’s awesome. It should not be an advertisement. If you look at it and think it could be considered an ad, change it.

  • http://twitter.com/NickTheHouse Nick Borelli

    No call to action to even motivate users to “like” them on Facebook is tough for me to understand. 

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      I hear you, Nick, but now you need to motivate the like with value. An interesting photo or a well-done Timeline. And you can still use landing pages for ads.

      • Shahone

        Can you please explain “and you can still use landing pages for ads.” ?

        • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

          Sure. You can still drive people to the “app” or “tab” of your choice with ads, making it the first thing those people see. When you create ads, you can select the landing page for the ad, and your options include your tabs.

          • Christian

            Here’s a screen shot of image. Am I not allowed to have the “click here” on any of those below icons. I’m not driving fb traffic away just to an opt in on fb. Also can I give away free reports, set up a consultation page, and ask people to get on my newsletter as long as they opting in on a page while still on fb and not driving them away to my site? Your advice would be appreciated thanks. 

          • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

            Hey, Christian. Your cover photo violates several rules. It can’t look like an ad. No calls to action or purchase info. I’d start over there.

            Your tabs should be fine. It’s the cover photo you need to be careful about.

          • kev

            if you were a football team could you post a photo of your team with a sponsors logo on it?

          • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

            There’s no issue putting logos within your cover photo.

          • Adrian higgs

            No FB issue, but be sure the owner of the logo has given you permission to use it in that way… :-)

  • Growing Up Bilingual

    Where can I find these rules? Are they on Facebook anywhere?  Thanks!

    • Growing Up Bilingual

      Sorry found it! thanks!

      • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

        Awesome! Thanks for sharing your question!

  • gelivan

    what about the name of a new business owner? should we place it in about section too?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      You can certainly put that type of information in your About/Description, but understand that if it is breaking news you want to share, not many people will see it. So you may want to write a blog post about it and share it to your fans.

  • http://www.bdwrekordings.com Bazadwalker

    What if you want to put your logo in and your logo contains your website address?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      If I were you, I’d get a version that doesn’t have your URL in it. Not worth the risk.

      • http://www.bdwrekordings.com/ Barry Walker

        I will just use something else for the cover image.

        I can understand why some images or photos wouldnt be allowed but i feel the restrictions are too tight. If you add too many rules then nearly every page is gonna be breaking at least one of them.

  • http://twitter.com/NickTheHouse Nick Borelli

    What about mine?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      I see no issues with yours, Nick!

  • Shutter_bug71

    what about a photographer offering custom designed timelines featuring,  for example, senior images taken of the person with the photographers website or phone number that the senior places on THEIR  timeline? That is a no no correct?

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      No contact info of any kind within the cover photo, correct.

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  • Becky

    I have some really nice cover images that I wanted to supply to my fans. These cover images have a picture (of nature, trees, birds, ect. used under a creative commons license) and my logo in the bottom corner. Is this acceptable? Will I be able to distribute these in a FB album? Or should I do it via my website?

    • Shawn

      Oh yeah! I had that same question!

  • Becky

    I have some really nice cover images that I wanted to supply to my fans. These cover images have a picture (of nature, trees, birds, ect. used under a creative commons license) and my logo in the bottom corner. Is this acceptable? Will I be able to distribute these in a FB album? Or should I do it via my website?

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  • Bhuvnesh Rohilla

    nice article sir!

    read this article to learn how big brands capitalised on the new guidelines and how can you do it for yourself


  • Pilskog

    Is it allowed to have a picture of a conference venue and write “Join us 22-23 May”?

  • http://twitter.com/aislesoffiles Ellyn Weber-Bynum

    OK, maybe I’m blind, but I am NOT finding those specific bullets at the link you gave. I see where they talk about the 399 pixels, and the language about covers being public, but nowhere am I seeing any reference to price, contact information, call to action, etc. Where is it, SPECIFICALLY, on the Facebook site?

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