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The Best Pictures For Social Media Profiles

By Patricia McNamara | Inspiration

You know what they say. A picture’s worth a thousand wordsor 140 characters depending on what you’re talking about. If you’re not on social media in some way, shape, or form, you’re probably living under a rock.

From the artsy Instagram to the career-driven LinkedIn, how you brand yourself on social media begins with the extremely important profile pic. It’s not only one of the first things you’re asked to upload when you start an account, but it's also the first thing people see when they search for you on that little World Wide Web.

Every platform serves a different purpose—and all have varying guidelines on the type of profile image they need. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled the major ones in a little cheat sheet below with insider tips for displaying your best pics yet. Get ready to see a surge in followers!


Recommended Dimensions: 400 x 400 pixels
Recommended Formats: JPG, GIF, or PNG


Don’t be a bad egg. When choosing a Twitter pic, you have to remember how many times it’s going to be seen (on your feed, your followers’ feeds….and followers of followers if you get a RT). In a sea of faces, your golden ticket is that one little thing that will make you pop.

As with many online photos, it's essential that your image remains crisp. To clean things up, consider the diamond Sharpen icon in BeFunky's Photo Editor app your new best friend.


Recommended Dimensions: 180 x 180 pixels
Recommended Formats: JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, or TIFF


Even if you think your page is private, chances are the general public can still see your profile pic. A great way to give a creative angle to your picture without overshadowing your cover photo is to abide by the “Rule of Thirds.”


You basically divide your picture into a grid of thirds like this, using the Cropping Tool. The intersections you see represent where the eyes are drawn and, instead of the middle, the proper place to put your key elements like someone's face.

How you brand yourself on social media begins with the extremely important profile picture.


Recommended Dimensions: 500 x 500 pixels
Recommended Formats: JPG, GIF or PNG


According to the LinkedIn pros, just having a picture on your profile makes it 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. And when they look at it? You better believe they’ll be all about a toothy grin.

A recent study from PhotoFeeler found that the best type of profile smile is one with teeth. People will reportedly see you as more likable and competent than those with a closed mouth or laughing smile.

BeFunky Pro Tip: When cropping your photo, make sure that your face takes up 60 percent of the frame. A rule of thumb: Crop from just below your shoulders to the top of your head. No need to get artsy when you’ve got Instagram for that.


Recommended Dimensions: 110 x 110 pixels
Recommended Formats: JPG or PNG


Speaking of...it was the fastest growing major social network among adults in the U.S. last year. With an app that’s solely photo-driven (OK and a little video), it’s essential that you have a strong profile pic. Use this space as an opportunity to sum up your personal brand, giving followers a snippet of the pics they should expect to see on your feed.

Are you a world traveler who loves sharing your finds? Make that picture of you on the Great Wall of China your profile. A die-hard foodie? Include an image of you holding a delectable dish. Even just the way you position yourself in a picture could make or break whether someone's intrigued. This picture above, for example, is perfect for Instagram because it’s colorful, artsy, and totally approachable. Who wouldn't want to follow someone like that?!

It's important to note that your profile picture is displayed two different ways on Instagram. On desktop viewing, it will be a square. On the mobile app, however, (which is currently the only way you can swap your profile picture), your image will be automatically cropped into a circle so be sure to find a picture that works with both shapes.


Recommended Dimensions: 250 x 250 pixels
Recommended Formats: JPG or PNG


Here’s a fun fact: Eye gazing is a thing. In a nutshell, we follow the eyes of those we see on screen. So if someone’s looking towards the right, our eyes will immediately flow in that direction. It’s a great trick to use when trying to boost more engagement on your page (because we all know there's more to look at than just your pretty face).

Originally, the pic above had the girl looking to the left. Since there's more stuff happening on the right of Google+ pages, I flipped the picture using BeFunky Photo Editor > Edit > Rotate.

One more thing to note on Google+: Just like Instagram, they automatically crop their photos into circles, so keep that in mind when working on your image.

BeFunky Profile

While playing around with your social media profile pics, consider pulling double duty and updating your BeFunky profile image at the same time. Any of your fabulous square images will work well and that way the BeFunky Community will get to see that pretty face of yours!

Do you have any tips for the perfect social media profile pic?

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