Sunday, 9 January 2011

How to hack your Facebook profile

I have to admit I hated the new Facebook profile and it's taken me ages to get used to it but then I hated it last time they changed it too. Which means I'm either stuck in my ways or that I've been on Facebook for way too long.
Then I came across a French artist called Alexandre Oudin who started the craze for customising your profile page to make it look like one large single image. Have a look at his Facebook profile to see what I mean. 
I love it and have spent this afternoon tinkering around to try to re-create the effect. After loads of errors I worked it out - and being the nice blogger that I am, here is my step by step guide on how to hack your profile page too!

You do need to know your way around some basic photo editing techniques to achieve this - but don't be put off as I've made all the mistakes already.

This was my Facebook profile page before I started.

And this is the image that I chose to work with to create my new profile.

This picture actually isn't great for this purpose but now that I have all of my measurements in hand and I can see how it works I'm going to trawl my archives for something better. I guess what I am saying is that for your first attempt it doesn't really matter what pic you use, just give it a go.

I edit my images in Photoshop - but if you don't have a program like this on your computer you can use a free online editor like Pixlr Express or Photoshop Express.

Step 1
To begin you need an image that is 682 pixels wide, this is the width of your Facebook page. Open your photo editor and crop your pic to this size. I'm going to call this your original image.

Step 2
The left hand portion of your image will become your main Facebook profile image. 
On my before pic above my profile photo is the small square but my new profile my image will extend right down the left column in a strip that is 180 pixels wide by 540 pixels high.
There are a couple of ways to do this. You can either take a crop of your original image (starting at the top, left hand corner and dragging down and right till you get the desired size), or what I did was create a new photoshop file 180 x 540 pixels and then I copied and pasted my original image into my new file - see below.
As you can see, this is the left hand side of my original image.
Save this, it will become your new profile pic.

Step 3
The next step is to create the five images that go across the top of your profile to make your photo strip. To do this go back to your original image and put in a ruler guide line 20 pixels from the top (you need this because your profile image sits slightly higher than your film strip).

Step 4
Then starting from your new guideline (20 pixels from the top) on the right hand side of your original image take a crop that is 492 pixels wide by 68 pixels high.
You now have a long image that looks like this.
Step 5
Next we need to turn this into your photo strip which is made up of five pics with a 2 pixel gap between each image. 
Each picture needs to be 96.8 pixels wide by 68 pixels high but make sure that you leave that 2 pixel gap between each one. 
I used the ruler / guides in photoshop to mark out my images and then deleted the gaps.  
Next, I copied each segment, created a new file, pasted the pic in and saved so that I had five new images - each one 96.8 x 68 pixels.

Step 6
That really is the end of the tricky bit. Now you just need up upload to your Facebook page.
Log into your account and click the 'Edit my Profile' link in the left hand menu.
From your 'Profile edit' page click 'Profile Picture' from the left hand menu.
Upload your new profile image (this is the long picture that you created back at step 2) and save it but don't tag it with your name. 
Your new profile image will now grace the left side of your profile page.

Step 6
Upload the five images that you created for your film strip. You do need to tag these images with your name but to make them appear in the right order you need to tag the image that is to appear on the right hand side of the strip first. Take a look at the order I tagged my images below.

And that is it....
My new profile page looks like this.

My image now extends across my profile and despite not being the right picture for the job it still does look pretty cool and will surfice until I choose a better one.
Have a go and let me know how you get on. Then come back and leave a comment with your profile url if you create something fab.
Happy hacking!


  1. This is brilliant. I've heard of these types of profiles but never know how you did it. Might take me a while though! Am I following you on Facebook? Must go check...

  2. Fab post hun, am just uploading my pictures now!


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