New on Facebook: Looping video profiles, temporary pictures, larger images

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook Bringing Profile Photos To Life With Mini Videos.

The company announced it’s testing a new feature called “profile videos,” that operate in place of the traditional “profile photo.” The feature will allow users to upload GIF-like seven-second clips instead of a static photo. iPhone users in California and the U.K. will be the first to be able to upload short looping videos as their profile photos. The social media giant announced Wednesday they’ve begun testing short, looping profile videos to make people’s personal landing pages not only more visually stimulating, but more representative of who they are and what they care about. “When more than 26 million people used our Celebrate Pride filter, it was more apparent than ever that people use their profile picture to show who they are— even if it’s just for a moment in time,” Facebook product managers Aigerim Shorman and Tony Hsieh said. “Profile pictures are not just static portraits.Facebook on Wednesday announced they would start testing profile videos, allowing users to film a short, looping video clip that will play for anyone who visits their profile on a mobile device.

Facebook has rolled out a huge set of changes to profile pictures – including turning them into videos which will play every time someone’s page is opened. They represent what’s going in your life right now and what’s important to you, and we want to give people the tools to better express themselves in this way.” Sharing short videos and GIFS is a growing trend among social media platforms, starting with Twitter-owned Vine and Instagram, which Facebook acquired in 2012. The network is also making profile pictures and videos bigger and more prominent, adding a one-line bio field and the ability to set a temporary version of your profile picture that reverts back to your previous profile picture at a specific time. More mobile apps are moving beyond static photography, such as Moju, an Instagram-like social network that merges a series of JPEG images to create a 3D effect, and Phhhoto, which creates GIFs of videos.

The evolution of the Facebook profile has been slow and steady: While the News Feed and your Timeline (née, the Wall) have received some dramatic (and hated!) updates, the basic elements of the personal profile itself have remained. Apple’s AAPL, +0.39% iPhone 6s also has a similar feature called “Live Photo,” where the camera extends the capture moment to 1.5 seconds before and after hitting the button. You’ve always had a photo that sits on the left-hand side, there’s always been a space to fill out basic information about yourself, and since nearly the beginning, finding more photos of you has been really easy to find. There’s a lot of information on a Facebook profile, and when it’s condensed on a smaller screen, pieces of you can get lost (or just require too much scrolling, thus going unnoticed). But Facebook knows how utterly important mobile is (according to one study, people spend 14 hours in the Facebook app a month), and is updating profiles for mobile accordingly.

This is probably meant to address the discomfort of having to ask yourself “am I done visually supporting [insert cause here] with my profile photo?” and taking action to change it. Clearly, all of this amounts to a huge mobile push for Facebook: We have a tendency to complacently consume via smartphone, but these tools are about creating.

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