Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of Facebook names and faces pop up on the news feed. Now, tell me… what does the word “profile picture” mean to you? Wouldn’t you agree that someone’s profile picture should probably be of a recognizable picture of themselves? A picture that, scaled to pretty much any practical resolution, will make people go “oh yeah! I know them!”
It would appear that a lot of the people on Facebook forget this fact. Take a look at the picture above. Our friend Arthur here is the one making the other two look like rabbits, and he’s pretty easy to spot since you have a decent sized thumbnail. However, if you scale the resolution back a bit, say, to newsfeed size, things get a bit ambiguous:
At this point, unless you’ve seen the full-size picture or the thumbnail, it’s hard to tell who’s in the picture at all. But wait! All of my best pictures contain my friends! you say? Facebook understands this, and that’s why they have a second step when choosing a profile picture that crops the image and prepares a thumbnail image that will contain only your face.
In other words, there’s no excuse for using bad quality thumbnails as your profile picture.