Facebook will soon let you replace your boring old profile picture with a video

facebook video profile pics coming soon temporary pic vacation
Ever notice just how static Facebook profiles are? I mean, you’ve got an unchanging profile picture, a status update, and a biographical wall of text. It’s surprisingly homogeneous for a social network that ostensibly aims to project your individuality, and frankly a bit boring. But not for much longer.

The long-neglected Facebook profile page is, at least on the mobile side, finally getting some attention. The most conspicuous change is photos: They’re now centered on the screen as opposed to off in the top-left corner, as was the previous behavior. They’re larger, too, and support animation. You read that right: if you so choose, you can select a looping clip up to 7 seconds in length instead of a pic. (If nothing else, it’s at least justification for Live Photos on the iPhone 6S.)

And profile pics are now a little more ephemeral. You can, if you so choose, select a temporary photo that’ll revert back to the old one after a specified period of time. If that seems like a feature addressed at the sort of activism that cropped up around debates against SOPA and PIPA and the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, you’re right — before, advertising your support for a cause would require effort. Now, Facebook will handle the hard part.

featured-photos_cy_final

The new mobile profiles are more than skin deep, though. Unlike the old template, which prioritized recent followers and new posts and hid photos and friends behind tabs, the redesigned profile puts visual content front and center. It retains some basic information — your place of work, the school you attended, and your birthday, for instance — but prominently displays a brief (fewer than 101 characters), descriptive, emoji-supporting bio up top and publicly shared photos down below. A new multi-section grid of pictures split between “featured” and “recent” occupies most of the redesigned page, and the Timeline’s been relegated to a bookend.

The new features are partly intended to help inject pizazz. “We’ve seen a lot of people ‘hack’ their profiles to show bits of their personality like nicknames,” a Facebook spokesperson told Wired. “We wanted to give [them] a new, freeform space […] to do that.” But the changes are targeted at the other end of the social media equation, too: Friends and lurkers who care more about people’s bios and photos than, say, their last check-in. “We’re just trying to balance out the information that might be more important to people when they’re visiting profiles,” Faceboook product manager Aryeh Selekman told The Verge.

Haven’t had time to write a pithy bio or capture the perfect vid? Not to worry — Facebook’s testing the new features on a “small number” of iPhone users in California and the U.K. before rolling them out more broadly. When they do hit your profile, any changes you make on mobile — e.g., animated pics — will reflect on the Web.

Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Gaming

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can browse profiles, trophies, and other content directly on your mobile device.
Mobile

Verizon begins RCS messaging rollout with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

What is RCS messaging? It's the successor to today's text messaging. It offers features like real-time audio, read receipts, and encryption, but adoption so far has been slow. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition: Everything you need to know

The Vivo Nex Dual Edition is the gorgeous flagship we need to close out 2018. In addition to dual screens, the Nex Dual Edition has some other awesome features. Here's everything you need to know about the new Vivo Nex Dual Edition.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.
Mobile

Protect your new iPhone with one of our favorite iPhone XR cases

Apple's new iPhone range is the toast of 2018, with beautiful style and more power than you can shake a stick at. But beauty can often be fragile -- keep the damage to a minimum with the best iPhone XR cases.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Mobile

5G Coverage

Curious about 5G and what it means for you? Well here is our awesome one stop shop for all things 5g.
Mobile

The Galaxy A8s is Samsung's first with a hole-punch camera cutout

Samsung is building exciting, technologically innovative midrange phones, and the latest to be revealed is the new Samsung Galaxy A8s, which may give us an idea of what the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will look like.