Sammy Nickalls
September 30, 2015 12:37 pm

Time to start flexing your creative muscles, because Facebook just rolled out some pretty rad new updates today.

As the social media site highlighted in a blog post today, user profiles on Facebook are viewed over four billion times a day. That’s why they have announced five big changes to user profiles — and the most fascinating involves your profile picture. Soon, you’ll be able to upload a seven-second-long video as your profile picture that will loop continuously, GIF-style, for anyone who visits your profile. (See examples of this here. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS, GUYS.) It will be looping without sound, unless it’s clicked.

“Earlier this half [year] we were having a brainstorm, and sometimes you find a gem,” Facebook’s project manager on the new profile Aigerim Shorman told Tech Crunch. “One of my designers called me over [to look at an engineer’s] Facebook At Work account. But his profile pic was moving. I thought ‘this is going to be a great expression opportunity.’ It brought the profile to life. You got to know the person better. So we got inspired to create an option to create a profile video.”

Oh, and remember when Facebook rolled out its “Celebrate Pride” function that allowed you to make your profile picture rainbow last June? That was, of course, to celebrate SCOTUS’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, but it was also a test. “When more than 26 million people used our Celebrate Pride filter, it was more apparent than ever that people use their profile picture to show who they are— even if it’s just for a moment in time,” reads the Facebook blog post. “Profile pictures are not just static portraits. They represent what’s going in your life right now and what’s important to you, and we want to give people the tools to better express themselves in this way.”

In other words, Facebook is rolling out another feature for your profile picture that allows you to have a “temporary” profile pic. You can upload a profile pic and set it to change back to another one after a certain time. This can be used to show you’re on vacation, commemorate a birthday, or show your support for a sports team or organization.

Another function that Facebook is introducing involves your profile controls. They’re introducing a customizable space at the top of your profile that allows you to add a one-line bio, much like Twitter and Instagram, as well as easier visibility tools for things like your education and place of work. Also, you’ll be able to choose five featured photos for the top of your profile. Profiles will look way better on your mobile device. Profile pics will be centered and larger to showcase your lovely face, and all essential info about you will be easier to see, front and center, instead of having to click “about.”

These features will not be hitting your account right away, as Facebook is currently still testing them on a small number of people in the UK and California — but the company says we’ll be noticing the look and feel of our profiles changing soon. “We believe these improvements to profiles will give people more ways to connect and share with each other, and express themselves in meaningful ways,” Facebook said in the blog post. “We can’t wait to see how people use them.”

These all sound like excellent ideas that simply improve user experience, but naturally, there’s an ulterior motive here, as Tech Crunch points out:

Hey, either way, we’re pretty pumped about those video profile pics. Start brainstorming, folks.

(Images via Facebook)

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