it seems like just last month (but it was longer) that I wrote about Facebook’s change to it’s Cover Photo. You can read all about that here. Google Plus just did them one better by creating an even bigger and better cover photo experience.
Announced in the last month, and rolling out to users in stages, the new Google Plus cover photo is a reasonable 16:9 Aspect Ratio (the same as your HDTV coincidentally) making it quite easy to set your image editing software for the cropping down of your image. Facebook’s cover photo, by comparison uses the rather obtuse 8.51×3.15 aspect ratio. Google Plus also allows you a shot a precropping the image if the aspect ratio of your intended photo doesn’t match the new aspect ratio. You can even perform a crop for content to further hone your image’s presentation.
Google Plus also allows you to have quite a large image as a cover photo letting you to expand up to 2120×1192 pixels in screen real estate. If you have one of those 2560 pixel-wide monitors, you can fill your screen, account for the interface and still see your image at proper resolution – in theory. However, if you pick a photo with too low of resolution, Google Plus will scale upwards until your image looks like crap. So, if you are going to have a cover image, you better upload a big one or you will end up with this:
No doubt you will want to inspect your cover photo and make certain it can handle the dimensions G+ has to offer. One word of caution: the image has a semi-transparent overlay across the bottom that allows your Profile Pic and your user-specific data to stand out from the background image. If there is an important part of your image, say a copyright notice, it will be obscured to some extent as in the example below.
Social media is evolving to display things more dynamically and expansively. Visual pop is your first impression opportunity to wow your readers. Keep up with the trend and make certain your cover images can deliver all the website can offer.
Rikk Flohr © 2013