If your business is looking to expand their social media marketing, the first place they’re probably going to turn to is Facebook. Facebook is one of the most powerful social media outlets available to businesses to use and it allows you to get into direct contact with your customers. You’re probably already aware of how Facebook works. You post a status, add a picture and then your customers and clients will see it and respond to it.

However, as much as you wish it was, it’s not as easy as that. When it comes to posting a picture on Facebook or really anywhere you may post one, you have to put careful thought and consideration into the type of photo and the dimensions of the photo. In terms of Facebook specifically, there are five different photo options that will be discussed below and each one has different ideal dimensions that should be used when you post a photo.

Below, you’ll find detailed information regarding each of the five photo types that can be used on Facebook and you’ll also learn which dimensions are ideal for each one and why the dimensions matter. Before you start to read about the dimensions and specifications of each different photo type Facebook allows, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how Facebook handles the pictures you post.

Understanding Photos On Facebook

If you’ve posted photos on Facebook previously, you’re already aware of how the images can often be reduced by Facebook and appear to be of less quality than they were when you initially uploaded the photo. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to help improve the quality of the image when you post it on Facebook.

There are several photo file options you can use when you post to Facebook, but aside from JPEG and PNG, you’re probably not going to have to worry about all of the options. While Facebook does reduce the quality of the photo when it is uploaded, it is far less noticeable on pictures than it is on design work such as a poster or flyer with a lot of text. Additionally, the image seems to be reduce in quality ore when it is uploaded as a JPEG than when it is uploaded as a PNG.

Now you may be thinking, well, if PNG doesn’t reduce quality as much, then I’m just going to upload all of my photos as PNG, but that’s not the answer to the problem. As a helpful reminder to you, if you are choosing to upload a photograph of people or a landscape or a building, you’re going to be just fine using the JPEG file format. However, if you choose to upload a poster or a flyer that has a lot of text and objects on it, then you’re going to want to upload it in the PNG file format. PNG has far less compression than JPEG images, which means the text and objects on your poster or flyer are going to remain sharp with clean, crisp edges.

Ideal Dimension Sizes

As mentioned earlier, when you post a photo to Facebook, it’s important to know where you’re posting the photo and for what purpose. No matter where you post the photo, it’s going to require a specific set of dimensions which will be discussed below. You’ll also see that just because a certain image requires a certain set of dimensions, doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to follow those dimensions, as Facebook is capable of resizing your photo in most (but not all) cases. If you don’t want to know and memorize the specific dimensions of each photo type, there is still a way to help you out. While not as effective and accurate, as a general rule, you can upload photos to Facebook at 1,200 x 628 pixels and they will show up just fine in the majority of formats. However, for the best results, follow the detailed guidelines provided below.

Cover Photo

If you plan on adding a cover photo to your business page (and you should), then you’ll want to have a picture with dimensions of 851 x 315 pixels. If you do anything less than that, the picture is going to appear stretched and distorted because it will attempt to fill up the entire space with a picture that is too small. While you should try to get the file size as close as possible to the 851 x 315 pixel size, the minimum size that is must be is 399 x 150, anything less will not be accepted by Facebook.

When it comes to image file choice, you should upload your image as a JPEG for best results to display the picture image. If you are planning on uploading an image with a logo or text, then you should upload the image as a PNG to limit the compression and give you a crisp image. On a smartphone, the cover photo will display at 640 pixels by 360 pixels.

Highlighted Image

A highlighted image on Facebook is essentially the image that appears with the post you just created or if you just published a photo by itself without any additional content. Highlighted images are often seen in your timeline and they’re the images that will be seen by your customers and clients the most.

The highlighted images will appear on your Facebook page (and your customer’s Facebook page) at 843 x 504 pixels. For best results, you should consider choosing the highest resolution possible at that scale. This will provide you with a better overall picture and the quality will appear much higher.

Profile Image

Your profile image on Facebook is going to be the most important photo you upload at any point of your Facebook lifespan. It is the photo that represents your brand and your business the most and it is what people are going to see whenever you do anything on Facebook. If you post something to your customers, they will see your profile picture. If you comment on something, they will see your profile pictures. Essentially no matter what you do on Facebook, your profile picture will follow you around, so you want to make sure it’s a good one and it’s the right size for what you need.

The photo for your profile image must be 180 pixels by 180 pixels and will appear on your page at 150 x 150 pixels. On most smartphones, the photo is going to display at 140 x 140 pixels. Your profile image follows you everywhere you go in the shape of a tiny picture next to your name, and that small image is displayed at 32 pixels by 32. This is one of the only images on Facebook that is displayed at such a wide variety of dimensions, but by uploading a 180 x 180 pixel image, you’ll be sure to get the desired results everywhere it is displayed.

Shared Image

As you can probably figure out from the name alone, shared images refer to images that are shared among users through Facebook. When you are uploading an image that may be shared, you should use the recommended upload size of 1,200 x 630 pixels. These images are seen in two different places on Facebook, the feed and the page. On your news feed, the image will appear at a max width of 470 pixels and will scale to a max of 1:1. When you see the image directly from someone’s page, the image will appear at a max width of 504 pixels and will also scale to a max of 1:1.

Shared Link

Similar to the shared image mentioned above, a shared link is a link that is going to be shared among Facebook users. The majority of time, an image is included with this post and goes along with the content in the link. There are two different options of size when this image is displayed, but all images should be uploaded at 1200 x 627. There’s a large rectangular photo that will appear at about 470 x 246 pixels in the news feed and 484 x 252 on the page. The smaller square photo will appear at 154 x 154 in the feed and 116 x 116 on the page. Facebook will automatically scale photos that are under the dimensions, but for best results, increase the image resolution to the same scale as the minimum size.

There are a lot of specifications and dimensions that you should pay attention to before you start uploading photos to Facebook. While your photos will still display in the majority of cases, no matter what the dimensions are, it can often appear pixilated and grainy and make them look really bad overall. By following the recommended dimensions for each particular image, you will have no problem delivering perfectly sized and clear photos to your customers at all times.