Changing your Facebook profile photo could be a big decision, especially since Facebook’s face detection algorithms do not allow it. If you ever changed your profile picture to anything other than your face, you were probably greeted with a prompt advising you to change it to a real photo. This didn’t happen instantly, but rather after a couple of days. Facebook really likes to have a real face with each profile. However, TechChrunch reported that Facebook is testing a new feature that allows people to temporarily set a new profile photo, which will then go away after a preset number of hours, days, or weeks. Facebook confirmed that it’s making the feature in response to the way that people often “use their profile pictures to support a cause, root for a team, and commemorate milestones like birthdays and anniversaries.” The idea is that with the temporary picture feature, you can express how you’re feeling and then have it revert back to normal when the cause (or your mood) is over with. Facebook reported that it wants to roll the feature across all countries in the coming months.
There are a few ways we find this feature useful. When it comes to supporting sports teams or celebrating birthdays, this feature makes a lot of sense. It also seems like a very fun way to show a bit of your personality on a site that places so much value on the long-term. However, it is also easy to look at this cynically, since the most popular profile photo changes to spread across Facebook are done in support of major causes, like to celebrate the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling back in June. If people were to put up rainbow-colored pictures using this photo feature, there would certainly be a lot less of them around today. No matter how we view this new feature, we believe that changing your photo sends a bigger message than a newsfeed post or a simple Tweet. Your friends / family will be constantly reminded on how strong you feel about a particular cause, every time they see one of your posts. There is no time frame when this option will roll out globally, but we will update this article as soon as we find out.