Making images look their best for Facebook!

Without the use of Photoshop or other Image editing software – the simplest way out there (that we’ve found)

We all know the most engaging Facebook posts include an image…. and for the vast majority of its 1 billion plus users, the image quality of these pictures really doesn’t matter.  i.e. straight from smartphone to their Facebook feed via the Facebook app. But what about those images that we want to look sharp, crisp and clean?  But just won’t no matter how hard you try, as Facebook does some kind of dirty magic on your image to make it look…. well, awful.  (Thank you Facebook image compression police)

So here’s what you need to know to get the most out of images, allowing them to look their best once uploaded onto Facebook.  

Let’s think about two different kind of images, the first is a regular post, then we shall talk about your timeline image!

OK – without wishing to overcomplicate things, you need to decide if you want the best possible image regardless of loading time (personally I wouldn’t worry about it).

If you want the best results for all devices, that are bigger in size then you need to resize your images so the long side measures 2048 pixels.   If however you want them to look good but be smaller then you want to resize so the long side measures 960 pixels. 

So whichever the method we are going to resize your image.  Here is a great way to do it, without needing to download any software.

Go find the pixlr website, found at from there you need to do the following – click on PIXLR EXPRESS – this is all you need (PIXLR EDITOR is more advanced and acts more like Photoshop)  either will do it, but we will used the stripped ‘Express’ version in our example.

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click on PIXLR EXPRESS and you’ll be faced with a screen like so, asking you to find the file you wish to upload.

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You want to click on ‘Browse’ and find your work or image saved locally on your hard drive.  Once you find it, open it and you’ll have a screen like so…

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You’re image will then load up on screen and from here you can make all kinds of adjustments, crop the image (with handy presets to keep particular ratio’s)  Add filters, lay an additional image (adding a flat layer, which if you alter it’s opacity you’ll have something that looks like a watermark!)  You can sharpen, smooth, blur, alter colour range, put on those awful borders, place text and everything else you are ever likely going to need to do.  This is where you get creative and make your work of art.  Then we RESIZE the image – found after you hit ‘Adjustment’ (see below)

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and now you can resize to the magic 2048 number.  The image is in portrait, so it’s the Width that you’ll need to change (the long edge)

*or 960 pixels if you want the smaller size image that still looks good.

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Once ready and the changes have been made, click on SAVE and you’ll be greeted with the following….

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Give your file a name, and here you want to change the quality to under 1mb.  Here I have used 870 kb.  Facebook is going to compress it, regardless – but the best results I’ve     tested and found online lead me to under 1000Kb as being the optimum setting.

You’ll then be left with an image that’s been resized and ready for you to upload.  Go try it!

For the timeline image?  What you need to know here is slightly different.  You have two big factors one is the image size is correct before you go to upload and it’s size is under 100kb.  If it’s not then Facebook will automatically compress the file to around 40kb.

Timeline image dimensions are 851 pixels wide by 315 in Height.  No more, no less.  It’s vital that you have an image that is the correct size, otherwise Facebook will pull, squeeze and stretch your image!  (remember you have a crop tool in Pixlr as found under ‘Adjustments’) 

Once prepared remember you must save the file to under 100kbgo to save the file and you will see something like this.

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and it’s here once more, that the slide bar makes this free online tool stand out from the crowd.   

Your results?  Well It’s a marked improvement on what you’ll otherwise allow the Facebook Image Compression Police do to you pictures.  Anything else you can do?  Some say .PNG files make a difference, whilst I have tested and seen an improvement on the timeline image, for regular posts – I have not.  

Have you?

Let us know how you get on….

Happy posting.

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