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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to "Reface" Your Facebook Photostrip

by Eydie Stumpf

As you might have already seen, Facebook has made some changes - again - to how it looks and works. Fan Pages have lost their tabs, a photo lightbox has been incorporated for better photo viewing, and you can now just hit enter on your keyboard to submit a comment.

With all these changes I've seen an increase of email in my inbox with questions. One question was about 'refacing' the personal profile photo strip. Refacing is not a feature which Facebook implemented - but by a very inventive user by the name of Alexandre Oudin.

The latest Facebook trend is to "reface" either your personal page or fan page photo strip. I have to admit that refacing is one of the tasks on my to-do list, and so I did some research in order to learn more about the technique.Facebook reface example

Before I begin, I'm betting that many readers are wondering why refacing your photo strip would be something they might want to invest their marketing dollars in. It's not a must have item, however; a refaced profile would certainly stand out and re-enforce your brand.

(Please note that Facebook, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to make the photo strip on Pages random and not fixed, as they are on personal profiles. I wanted you to understand that little issue BEFORE tackling this project).

Based on the fact that the images are random on Pages, some businesses are creating photo ads containing calls to action. Instead of having just a picture of a product, event, etc, they are creating small promotional ads. These ads, appearing in the photo strip could be special promotions, discounts, tips, or promos for upcoming events.

How to create the refacing effect is a bit detailed, and you'll need a photo manipulation program such as Adobe Photoshop or Elements.

Here's a quick overview of the steps:

* Begin with a base image which is at least 692 pixels wide and 540 pixels high. To create the left side profile image, crop your base image from the left to measure 180px wide to 540px high.

* For the rest of the photos you'll have to remember to begin cropping 20px below the top of the image. From the right side edge of the base image take a crop that's 492px wide and 68px high.

* Keeping in mind that there is a 2px gap between each profile picture, crop five images each sized at 96.8px wide and 68px high.

Now you are ready to upload your pictures. First upload your left side profile picture. Do not tag this one. Next, upload the remaining five pictures - uploading the far right one first then moving on until the last picture you upload is the one on the far left. Important: tag each picture as you upload them. The picture on the far left should be tagged last.

It may take a few tries to get the pictures cropped correctly and uploaded properly, but be patient, it will be worth it in the end!

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