Facebook Allows Users To Upload 7-Second Video Profile Pictures

Facebook acknowledged this week what many users have been saying all along: your profile picture is an opportunity to express yourself. Sure, Uncle Joe’s profile has the same fuzzy image that he scanned off a photo in 2009, but a huge chunk of users change their profiles frequently. Facebook launched some new tools for those users, including a video profile that lets them upload 7-second videos to their mobile Facebook profiles.

“The world has changed since we first introduced profiles in 2004,” said Facebook product managers Tony Hsieh and Aigerim Shorman in a blog post. “On News Feed and profiles, we’re seeing people create and view more videos than ever before. Today we’re starting to test the next step in an obvious evolution of profiles: profile videos.”

Facebook keeps the profiles to seven seconds (even shorter than Snapchat videos), but that’s plenty of time to completely embarrass -- er, we mean, express yourself.

Of course, video profiles won’t be for everyone, so Facebook also tossed in some new features for us stodgy old-timers who insist on a static profile image. One of those features is the temporary profile, which automates something Facebook users have been doing for years: switching their profile image to a particular picture (say, a flag) in response to an event and then switching it back to their regular profile picture later. Now, you can set that flag as a temporary profile that will automatically revert back to your regular photo in a few hours or days.

“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,” said Hsieh and Shorman in the blog post.

Facebook temporary profiles

Facebook is also making some smaller changes to mobile profiles, including letting users choose five pictures that are meant to be representative of them. Those pictures are added to the profile and are easy for the public (or just friends, depending on your settings) to view.

Don’t expect to see the new features right off the bat; Facebook is planning to roll out features slowly, first in California and the UK. And only iPhones will get the new features, at least initially.