My, What A Big Profile Page & Cover Photo You Have, Google+

Like many today, Google+ offered to upgrade the cover photo of my Google+ profile page to the new larger size, up to 2120×1192. Wow, would that even fit on my screen? And would anything even show other than the picture? Let’s have some fun comparing profile pages at Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Oh Say What Can You See?

For this test, I loaded up all the pages on my MacBook Pro Retina running at the default display resolution of 1440×900. I normally run the screen at a higher resolution, 1680×1050, giving up a tiny bit of quality for more screen real estate. But I wanted to stick with what I thought was a reasonable and common screen resolution.

Here’s what I could see with Google, Facebook and Twitter, with my browser set to use up all the available space:

Google Profile Page

facebook profile page

twitter profile page

The first surprise is that Google’s cover photo doesn’t completely wipe everything out. How is it that a photo that’s 2120×1192 renders fully on a 1440×900 screen, with room left for other things? Google dynamically resizes the image.

If you have a monitor with a super-high resolution, like my external monitor does, you can see the image in its full 212×1192 glory. But the proportions remain the same. You’ll still see a tiny bit of the person’s first post, their circles (if they provide that) and navigational elements.

Profile Stacking Dolls

The second surprise was how little both Google and Facebook now show of someone’s actual activity. I’ll get back to that, but first, let’s play Russian stacking dolls:

profiles stacked

What I’ve done is put Facebook’s page over Google’s page, showing how it takes up less of the available space, then Twitter’s page on top of that. Of all of them, Twitter has the most compact display. Some may appreciate that, while others might feel Twitter is wasting opportunities for widescreen displays.

What Real Content Can You See?

Finally, what I call the content test. I wanted to get a sense of how much these profile pages inform you about a person, at a glance. What are they posting or sharing? Who do they follow? Here’s how it looks for Google, Facebook and Twitter:

google info

facebook content

twitter content

Personally, I like how Twitter does this. I learn a lot about people by what they share, and Twitter lets me see four tweets at once, along with six recent photos, a bio and some stats on followers.

Facebook and Google+ are about tied for me after that, and both a little disappointing. I can barely see the one update that Facebook shows; Google also shows one update, but with a bit more space. Followers are visible on Facebook; with Google, they get pushed off the page.

Of course, a cover photo can say a lot about a person — and can be used by marketers to communicate more about a company, if they want.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Facebook: Pages | Google: Google+ | Top News | Twitter | Twitter: Accounts & Profiles | Uncategorized


About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • John McCheap

    Super big (fail?), I think FB has the right size.

  • Anthony Welsch

    Any idea how we can revert back too the old style? I can’t find the option anywhere! (I hate that my content is hidden!)

  • gmart

    Less is more.

  • Lone Voyager

    There is no way and that is really sad :( It was a one way ticket.

  • Mohamed Mansour

    It is interesting Google+ doesn’t follow (From Google Labs), I guess this makes user exploration longer now.

  • Andrew

    So i guess LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook are just vying for this week’s ‘my profile header image is bigger than your profile header image’ title. I guess next week might be Twitter vs RenRen vs Pinterest.

  • Hridaysikder

    YA today I first see this on Google+ it’s awesome.I like it just going to post for

  • Tromposaund

    Thats a really big influence! I hope to costumize our marketing action an soon als possible.

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Seeing them side by side like that really makes the differences stand out. I never realized how little real estate Facebook gives your actual activity. Think how many distractions are in the black space for a user!

  • Rob Calhoun

    I looked at my G+ account seeing the new picture size as just another thing I have to change. That’s not good for a social network I still haven’t determined whether or not there’s value there.

  • 417 Marketing

    I’m not sure why Google made the 2120×1192 requirement on cover photo. Yes, my personal top one is Twitter too. For me, it’s simple and compact. And besides, Twitter helps a lot with my business (

  • Jerry Nordstrom

    This is a terrible change.
    1. It was not needed – There is no additional value
    2. Why do they have a black gradient overlay to make everything look dirty?
    3. Circle for the logo area – rarely a clean fit
    4. Responsive design makes it impossible for most businesses to get it right.
    5. Title, Tag line and link over the banner cluttering up the design.

    The few businesses who had taken the time to create a G+ page are now rewarded with their entire design getting blown away with no apparent added value.

    Our clients have been getting a lot of news about Google changes including:
    From SEO’s that Penguin tanked their rankings a few months back
    From PPC managers that enhanced campaigns just made everything mobile
    From Social managers that Google places, local and G+ is really all one thing.. I think?
    To their spouses telling them some strange van drove by and person walked around the house to video every square inch of their front yard and home.

  • Arizona HouseofGraphix

    I want to adjust the size of my header. Google’s new size is obnoxious and a waste of space. I’m trying to work on marketing my business, and I get hung up on stupid obstacles like this. It’s a total time suck. I’m very frustrated.

  • Arizona HouseofGraphix

    THAT IS SAD!! How annoying we have no control over our pages. And it’s very easy html coding to allow the user control over such simple options. URRRG!!

  • Lone Voyager

    Agreed! Customisation is needed at least up to some level

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