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Facebook Video Profile Pic Feature

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To keep its decade-old social network lively, is introducing five big changes to user profiles, which are viewed 4 billion times per day:

  1. The option to pin Featured Photos to the top of the #profile
  2. Temporary profile pics
  3. Easier visibility controls for About info, including a new 100 character Bio field
  4. A mobile-centric design with centered profile photos plus big sections for photos and friends
  5. The ability to use a 7-second looping as your profile pic.

The features begin rolling out and testing today for some users.

Together, these changes should make Facebook more visually stimulating and addicting. As other networks like Twitter introduce auto-play video like Facebook did, and Snapchat adds animated selfie lenses and its own profile GIFs, Facebook has to stay a step ahead in the graphic arms race.

Meanwhile, Facebook wants to cement its profile as the center of your web presence. Snapchat hardly has a profile, and Twitter’s is basically just your most recent tweets. If Facebook can do more to let you customize how you represent yourself, you might be more willing to link back and send traffic to your profile.

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Facebook’s project manager on the new profile, Aigerim Shorman, tells me it’s designed to highlight “what’s going on in their life, what’s important to them now in more expressive ways.” The most recent post you shared probably isn’t as useful for grasping your identity as biographical info or photos of you, so Facebook’s pushing that stuff above the timeline.

And finally, putting biographical info more front and center could get people to keep this information more up to date, which is critical to powering Facebook’s advertising engine. A similar overhaul of the web profile in 2010 scored Facebook immense amounts of data on where people live, where they went to school, and where they work, which has fueled its ad targeting ever since.

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