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Snapchat’s Video Feature Introduced In Facebook Mobile Profiles

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Facebook_logo-8Facebook has brought some major changes to its mobile layout and it could change the way you use the world’s leading social networking site. Mark Zuckerberg and Co. have created the option to upload profile videos instead of profile pictures, as well as a new ‘temporary profile picture’ feature. Apparently, the video feature is similar to that of Snapchat even though Facebook has dismissed all such comparisons.

Currently, profile videos can only be uploaded via the Facebook app by iPhone users in the UK and California. However, Facebook plans to launch the update worldwide later this year.

Following are the changes that Facebook has introduced:

  1. The option to use a 7-second looping video as your profile picture.
  2. The choice to pin Featured Photos to the top of your profile.
  3. Temporary profile picture.
  4. Easier visibility controls for About information including a hundred character Bio field
  5. A mobile-centric design with centered profile photos plus bigger sections for photos and friends

These changes are expected to make Facebook visually more stimulating and interactive. Since Snapchat hardly has a profile and Twitter focuses mainly on your tweets, Facebook wants to make its profile the cynosure of online environment. If Facebook can allow you to customize how you represent yourself, then you might be more willing to link back and send traffic to your Facebook profile. These changes are designed to help users articulate what’s happening in their life in better ways. The most recent post you shared probably isn’t as useful for grasping your identity as biographical info or photos of you and hence, Facebook is pushing all that above the timeline.

Let’s take a closer look at Facebook’s new features:

Profile Videos

profile video

Using Facebook’s profile videos you can film a short, looping video that will play when people land on your profile page on their mobiles. You can tap the record button and shoot for up to 7 seconds with sound. The video clip will automatically play without sound (unless clicked) on your profile and the feed story of you uploading it. A still cover image you select will appear everywhere else. The profile videos may remind you of the Harry Potter newspapers where photos suddenly came alive. They’re sure to unleash a lot of creativity from the users. It might as well turn out to be fun for them.

Featured Photos

featured

The next big feature is an option to choose up to five Featured Photos that will appear in a section at the top of your profile. This will enable you to let people, considering your friend request or who just met you, have a better idea about your identity. These photos could show your favorite after-work activities, your pets, some extra selfies or anything else related to you. Think of them as the extra photos that will be used to judge you. More importantly, people can use this space to visually highlight what matters to them.

Temporary Profile Pics

temp

The temporary profile picture feature lets you select a profile picture for a fixed number of hours, days, or weeks. After the time lapses, it reverts to your previous profile picture. It’s useful for promoting a cause, like the 26 million people who set their profile picture in rainbow to show support to the decision taken by the Supreme Court of the United States that declared gay marriage as legal. In some cases, Facebook even provides little tools for filtering your profile picture.

Visibility Controls and Bio

bio

Facebook is also adding in-line privacy controls to the ‘About’ information field that’s visible at the top of your profile. Those set to public will now appear immediately on the profile below your profile picture, rather than in the About section. You will also be able to describe yourself in words with a 100 character Bio field which will also help people figure out if they want to be your friend, in case you keep that section public. The Bio feature is already used by Twitter. With biographical information now at the top of the profile, people are incentivized to keep the info updated and accurate. That in turn lets Facebook effectively target these users with advertisements meant for specific audiences.

Mobile Design

Rather than port the left-aligned web profile to mobile, Facebook has come up with a mobile-first design. It makes the profile picture/video bigger in size and aligns it in the center of the screen. Below, rather than panels that open to reveal details on friends and photos, Facebook is giving both big sections pinned just below the profile picture and above the timeline.

The Bottom Line

Apparently, the changes might seem merely aesthetically pleasing but they could significantly influence Facebook’s business. A similar rejig of the web profile in 2010 scored Facebook immense amounts of data on where people live, their age, where they went to school and where they work, which has eventually fueled its ad targeting ever since. The more people visit other peoples’ profiles, the more they’ll want to update their own. It’s another smart way in which Facebook has managed to improve its business along with its user experience. People will go to your profile to get to know you better. News articles or weekend tales aren’t as expressive and illustrative as a profile video, featured photos or bio text. Promoting them to the top of your profile gives your friends and marketers a better understanding of who you are.

Image Credits:

Facebook logo: Google images

Other images: cosmopolitan.co.uk/entertainment/news

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