MENUMENU

Facebook profiles will soon look a lot different on your phone

Soon you can use a video as your profile picture.

Facebook is overhauling the mobile profile, and will soon let people use a short video for an avatar. It’s one of the many profile changes the company announced in a blog post on Wednesday. 

While Facebook says the new profile photo option is a video feature, moving profile photos are really more like GIFs. They are strikingly similar to Snapchat’s moving avatar that the chat app debuted in July

To use a video to identify you on Facebook, simply tap your profile picture and film a video instead of choosing the add photo option. 

Facebook

Static photos are getting some new features, too. You’ll soon be able to set a timer on your profile picture. If you’re on vacation or at an event, you can set a photo to remain your profile picture for a certain amount of time. Once the countdown is over, it reverts to a different photo. 

Perhaps the most jarring change you’ll notice beyond the moving profile photo is that your picture will be directly in the middle of the screen. It’s a huge departure from the left-aligned avatar that Facebook and so many other social networks have stuck with for years. 

In order to give people the ability to better customize which information they share with friends, Facebook will also be rolling out more granular options for selecting what people see when they come to your mobile profile. You can determine which “About” fields appear at the top of your feed, and pick up to five “Featured Photos,” to show underneath. No longer will the most recently tagged photos or uploads be the first pictures your friends see. 

The updates aren’t rolling out to everyone quite yet, however. Facebook said it’s a limited test to a “small number of iPhone users in the U.K. and California,” but the new features will be available to more people soon. 

Illustration by Tiffany Pai

Selena Larson

Selena Larson

Selena Larson is a technology reporter based in San Francisco who writes about the intersection of technology and culture. Her work explores new technologies and the way they impact industries, human behavior, and security and privacy. Since leaving the Daily Dot, she's reported for CNN Money and done technical writing for cybersecurity firm Dragos.