One of the first steps after joining a new social network is to upload a profile picture. But how do you choose a profile picture? Is there such a thing as the best profile picture? Do you need different profile pictures for every social media channel? The truth is, your profile picture is the first thing your audience sees and research shows that having a great profile picture can influence your audience and help you gain more followers.Our ultimate guide for profile pictures will tell you everything you need to know about creating the best profile picture for every channel, no matter what social media platforms you choose!
Different Types of Profile Pictures
You can choose different types of profile pictures depending on the social media channel you’re using and the impression you want to give your followers. Profile pictures can be cute, funny, aesthetic, cool, and even cartoon!
Cute Profile Pictures
Cute profile pictures can make you seem friendly and easy-going. A sweet smile makes your picture attractive. Cute profile pictures should also have adorable accessories, clothing, and backgrounds. Loveable animals also make for cute profile pictures.
Funny Profile Pictures
Funny profile pictures can show more than just your face. You can add an unexpected twist with funny filters or silly images. People love to laugh and a funny profile picture will be sure to brighten their day.
Aesthetic Profile Pictures
Aesthetic profiles pictures are pleasing to the eye. They are captivating and compel your audience to look at them. Aesthetic profile pictures can show off your artistic abilities and elicit feelings and emotions from your audience.
Cool Profile Pictures
A cool and classic profile picture can help you stand out from the crowd. Headshots make cool profile pictures. You can also add some stylish props or use a background to make your cool profile picture more creative.
Cartoon Profile Pictures
If you aren’t comfortable with showing your face in pictures, a cartoon profile picture is a great option. You can choose from a variety of existing cartoons, or you can create your own with apps that can turn your photos into cartoons and sketches.
Best Pictures for Social Media Profiles
Different types of social media platforms have different goals and uses, so your profile picture should reflect what you are trying to achieve within that social media platform.
Best Facebook Profile Picture
Show your face as your FB profile picture. It is called Facebook after all! People are more likely to connect with a face than they are with a logo or other image. Crop the photo to the head and a bit of the shoulder. Additionally, make sure your FB profile picture is crisp and clear. Don’t post a casual picture or webcam photo.
Best Instagram Profile Picture
Your Instagram profile picture is your first impression to new and potential followers. Make sure that your profile picture conveys the aesthetic of your posts and Instagram Stories. Your Instagram profile picture should communicate what you do. For example, photographers could hold a camera as a prop or a baking blogger might hold a mixing bowl.
Best LinkedIn Profile Picture
Your LinkedIn profile picture is a key element of your LinkedIn presence. Research shows that just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. Make sure your LinkedIn profile picture is up to date (within the past few years) and reflects how you look on a daily basis. Also, choose the right expression. People are more likely to see you as likable, competent, and influential if you smile in your profile pic.
Best YouTube Profile Picture
YouTube channel icons don’t offer a lot of space, so it’s best to keep them simple. Consider using a headshot, your company’s logo, or an image if it really highlights what your channel is about. Keep in mind, your YouTube channel icon shows up in multiple locations (channel page, video comments, related channels, search results, etc.). It’s important to size the icon correctly and choose an image that best represents your YouTube channel.
Best Twitter Profile Picture
Your Twitter profile very is different from many other social profiles. On Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks, you have lots of space for your bio, links, and other elements. This is not the case with Twitter. Twitter is like a business card—you have limited space to make a great first impression. For your Twitter profile picture, you want to choose something people can immediately connect with. An easily recognizable logo is a great option.
Best Reddit Profile Picture
Avatars are common for Reddit profile pictures. An avatar is a personalized graphical illustration that represents a computer user or alter ego that represents that user. Avatars should be something that represents you or appeals to your personality. When choosing an avatar, make it interesting, and don’t pick a default image. Also, keep it consistent for all your methods of communication as this helps your online branding strategy.
Profile Picture Techniques
When it comes to creating the best profile picture for every channel, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. You have to consider the profile picture style and format that best fits each channel. Additionally, you need to consider the types of lighting and backgrounds that you use.
Profile Picture Styles
Should you use custom photography for your channel or will a selfie do just fine? How about a side profile shot or a front-facing photo? Do profile pictures styles change depending on if you’re a man or a woman? What is an avatar and when should you use it?SEO Design Chicago is here to answer your questions about profile picture styles and more!
Photography vs. Selfie
On an iPhone, you have two camera options: a rear-facing camera for photography and a front-facing camera for selfies. Overall, the rear-facing camera will take higher-quality photos than the selfie camera. Therefore, if you are using social media channels for your business, you should use the rear-facing camera and avoid the front-facing camera.The rear-facing camera can take better quality photos in low light. The photos are also easier to crop afterward and they won’t lose their quality. With the rear-facing camera, you’ll get a sharper image that is less blurry. You want your business to stand out on social media and high-quality profile pictures play a huge role in capturing your audience’s attention.On the other hand, if you’re simply using personal social media, selfies can be a fun option for your profile picture. A selfie is “an image that includes oneself (often with another person or as part of a group) and is taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks.” Selfies are great for capturing memorable moments and engaging emotions.If you want to take a great selfie, try using the portrait mode on your iPhone. Portrait mode beautifully blurs the background and brings a single subject—you—into focus. With portrait mode, your selfies will be stunning.
Side Profile vs. Front Facing
Scientists at Wake Forest University conducted a study regarding the preference for side profile pictures. They determined that viewers preferred images that showed the subject’s left side. The reason behind this is two-fold: our faces aren’t perfectly symmetrical and the hemispheres of our brains perform different functions. The right side of our brain controls the left side of our bodies. Additionally, the right side of our brain is associated more with emotion. Therefore, scientists concluded that the left side of our faces expresses more emotion than the right side.Using a profile picture that emphasizes the left side of your face will make you appear more attractive and approachable.If you’re trying to connect with your audience, a front-facing photo in which you are looking directly at the camera is your best bet. Direct eye contact makes you appear more attractive and engaging.
Profile Pictures for Men vs. Women
Humans tend to smile in photographs without even thing about it. While smiles are almost always a positive attribute for profile pictures, there is one time when men shouldn’t smile in pictures: if they’re trying to get a date.In a study called “Happy Guys Finish Last,” researchers showed that happiness was the least attractive emotion for men when the photos were viewed by women. Women, however, can smile regardless of their personal or professional objectives.
Avatar Pictures for Profiles
If you’re looking for a profile picture that doesn’t include your face because you want to protect your privacy, an avatar is a great option. While channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn tend to focus on people’s faces in their profiles pictures, a channel like Reddit tends to focus more on using avatar pictures for profiles.Avatars allow users to create a fantasy version of themselves. Avatars are an example of creative self-representation. You can choose a character with traits similar to your own or with traits that you would like to have. You can still connect with other people while using avatars rather than your photograph. Certain types of avatars are more likely to generate interest from other users in getting to know you. For example, if you want to make friends online, choose an avatar that has a charming facial expression. Online and in the real world, people have a preference for attractive and approachable faces.
Profile Pictures Tips
Appropriate lighting and eye-catching backgrounds can make your profile picture pop!
When it comes to lighting, you should face the light. The source of light should come in front of you. Natural light is best for taking great profile pics. Good lighting lets you highlight the subject, accentuate eye color, and brighten up the background.
Backgrounds such as plain or patterned walls will keep the focus on your face. Choose a background color that contrasts with the design of the social networking site that you’re using. For example, the main color on Facebook is blue, so an orange-hued background would be eye-catching and appealing.
Profile Picture Format
Once you’ve taken the perfect profile picture, it’s time to upload it on your computer. What file format should you use—PNG or JPEG? Choosing the appropriate file format will help your picture load quickly and be of higher quality.
Ideal File Format: PNG vs. JPEG
What’s the difference between PNG and JPEG? Let’s start with the basics.PNGPNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. Their image quality is the same before and after being compression. PNG improves upon GIFs. A PNG image can be palette-based, grayscale, and full-color non-palette-based RGB/RGBA. Since PNG was designed for transferring images on the internet rather than print, it doesn’t support non-RGB color spaces like CMYK.PNG offers a variety of transparency levels. This means you can make the background transparent, which works well for logo designs. It’s also great for pictures with fade effects.JPEGJPEG or JPG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. These files tend to lose quality after being compressed. However, lower quality isn’t always a bad thing because they have less data, so they are more responsive and load quicker.Since these types of pictures lose quality after compression, they aren’t the best choice for line drawings or textual or iconic graphics because they will look blurry and not as defined.When it comes to choosing the ideal file format for your profile picture, a general rule of thumb is to use JPG format for photographs and PNG for graphics and screenshots.
Sizing Profile Pictures for Social Media
Social media networks don’t give you a lot of space for your profile picture. The social media platforms differ and, if you want to have the best profile picture, you need to know the ideal profile picture size for each channel.
Ideal Facebook Profile Picture Size
Your FB profile picture displays at 170×170 pixels on a computer screen and 128×128 pixels on a smartphone. If you have your logo or text in your profile picture, you should you a PNG file.
Ideal Instagram Profile Picture Size
Your Instagram profile picture displays at 320×320 pixels. Instagram profile pictures are displayed as a circle. Therefore, you should make sure that any important elements are in the center so they don’t get cropped out.
Ideal LinkedIn Profile Picture Size
LinkedIn can accommodate photos up to 7680 x 4320 pixels. It can handle files up to 8MB, so upload as large as you can to make them easier to work with in the future. The recommended size for your LinkedIn profile picture is 400×400 pixels.
Ideal Twitter Profile Picture Size
The minimum image size for your Twitter profile picture is 200×200 pixels. The maximum file size is 2MB. The recommended size for your profile picture is 400×400 pixels.
Ideal Pinterest Profile Picture Size
Your Pinterest profile picture will be displayed as a circle. The recommended size for your Pinterest profile picture is 165×165 pixels.
Ideal Tumblr Profile Picture Size
The recommended size for your Tumblr profile picture is 128×128 pixels. The minimum size is 64×64 pixels.
Ideal YouTube Profile Picture Size
The recommended size for your YouTube profile picture is 800×800 pixels. For best results, center the focus of your photo. GIF, JPG, BMP, and PNG file types are acceptable, but animated GIFs won’t work. Your photos will render at 98×98 pixels.
Ideal TikTok Profile Picture Size
While the minimum TikTok profile picture size is 20×20 pixels, you should upload a larger size, higher-quality photo for future-proofing.
How to Change Your Social Media Profile Picture
When you’re ready to change your social media profile picture, every channel has a different method. Here are how-tos for changing your profile picture for different social media channels.
How to Change Profile Picture on Facebook
Here is how to change your profile picture on Facebook.
- Click your profile picture in the top right of Facebook.
- Click the camera icon in the bottom right corner of your profile picture.
- Choose a photo to upload.
- Click the pencil icon to crop your photo.
- Click Save.
How to Change Profile Picture on Instagram
Here is how to change your profile picture on Instagram.
- Click your profile picture in the top right corner, then click the person icon.
- Select Edit Profile.
- Click Change Profile Photo.
- Choose from where you would like to import your photo.
- Click Submit.
How to Change Profile Picture on LinkedIn
Here is how to change your profile picture on LinkedIn.
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Select View Profile.
- Click on your profile photo in your introduction section.
- In the Profile Photo pop-up, you have several options.
- Click Edit to crop the photo, use photo filters, adjust, change the position and size, rotate or change the visibility of your profile photo.
- Select Add Photo and follow prompts to change your profile photo.
- Click Frames to add a frame to your profile photo.
- Choose Delete to delete your photo.
- Click Save Photo
How to Change Profile Picture on Twitter
Here is how to change your profile picture on Twitter.
- Click your Twitter username in the top right of the page and click the settings sub-link. This takes you to your Twitter Account page.
- Choose the Profile tab. This lets you upload a profile picture.
- Click Choose File.
- Select the image you want and then click Open.
- Click Save.
How to Change Profile Picture on Pinterest
Here is how to change your profile picture on Pinterest.
- Log into your Pinterest account.
- Click the down arrow in the top-right of your screen, then click Settings.
- Under Edit Profile, click Change next to your profile photo.
- Click Choose Photo to select a photo from your computer
- Select the photo you want to use
How to Change Profile Picture on TikTok
Here is how to change your profile picture on Tiktok.
- Go to Me.
- Click Edit Profile.
- Click Change Photo.
- Select Take a Photo or Upload Photo.
- Choose a photo and click Save.
How to Change Profile Picture on YouTube
Here is how to change your profile picture on YouTube.
- Sign in to YouTube Studio.
- From the left menu, select Customization and then Branding.
- Click Upload and select an image. Adjust the size of your image, then click Done.
- Click Publish. It may take a few minutes for your profile picture to update across YouTube.
How to Change Profile Picture on Reddit
Here is how to change your profile picture on Reddit.
- Visit the Profile section of your User Settings.
- Scroll down to the Avatar and banner image section and click the edit icon on your current avatar image.
- Select the image you would like to use from your computer.
- Click Save
Get Custom Photography From SEO Design Chicago
If you want the best photos for any of your social media channels, check out custom photography by SEO Design Chicago. Custom photography is crucial to your branding strategy and marketing. We can help you create the best profile picture today!
- What different types of profile pictures are there?
- How is a selfie different from other photography?
- What is an avatar?
- Why is lighting important for a good profile picture?
- What is PNG vs. JPEG format?