Facebook's new Timeline design, the most drastic makeover to profiles yet, introduced a number of new features, including the cover photo: a large picture at the top of your page designed to let you enhance and personalize your new space.
As more Facebook users continue to make the switch (or be switched) to Timeline, the market for unique cover photos and designs continues to grow.
Here's a look at five websites that offer ways to spruce up your Facebook cover photo, from themed stock images to collages using your personal Facebook photos.
CoverCanvas lets you create custom cover photos for your Facebook Timeline. To start, you need to log in with Facebook, and allow the app access to your basic info, email address, profile information, photos and videos. If you don't want others to see your CoverCanvas activity, remember to change the privacy to "Only Me" on the login screen.
Once connected, you'll be redirected back to CoverCanvas where you can begin designing your cover photo.
CoverCanvas has thousands of designs to choose from. You can choose a custom cover photo design that incorporates your personal Facebook photos, or you can opt for a static design from a number of categories including art, humor, music, sports and more.
[Want more tips, tricks and details on Facebook? Check out CIO.com's Facebook Bible.]
Cover Photo Magic, which also connects to your Facebook account, is a two-step process and has more than 200 free templates to choose from.
After you connect Cover Photo Magic to your Facebook account and allow it to access your basic information and your photos, it will redirect you back to its site where you start by first choosing a design template. You can sort them by most popular or the newest ones, in addition to subject, color and layout.
After you've selected a template, Cover Photo Magic will load your most recent Facebook albums. Select the photos you'd like to add to your cover design, drag them to the template and save. Cover Photo Magic will create an album on its site where you can save your cover photo designs for later.
MyFBCovers gives you a few options for cover photo creation: You can generate a collage that includes all of your Facebook friends, create a custom cover photo or upgrade to their premium service for $10 and have a designer create a cover photo for you.
For the free options, you can search cover categories that range from abstract to nature, or you can create a custom cover photos with an image uploaded from your desktop. If you create a custom design, you have a number of adjustments you can make and effects you can add to personalize your picture. These include sepia, sketch, scaling, and height and width adjustments.
When you've made all the edits you want, click "Create Cover," name it and add it to your Facebook page.
FirstCovers has a huge, searchable image database that includes categories such as bands, cartoons, football, photography and more. You can also create custom cover photos in themes such as Polaroid, scrapbook and others.
Chose a category to begin, then login with your Facebook account. Your Facebook albums will load, then select from them the photo or photos you want to use in your cover photo. Select the layout, adjust the background color, add text decorations and then upload it to Facebook.
5. Pic Scatter
Not only does Pic Scatter let you create photo collages from your Facebook albums, it also generates cover photos based on your Facebook friends, "likes," or albums.
Like some of the others, start by logging in with your Facebook account, then click the "Facebook Timeline Cover" category. To upload photos, you need to choose a photo source: either photos of your Facebook friends, your Facebook likes or from one of your photo albums. Click through the steps and Pic Scatter will create a custom collage from these photos. To rearrange the position of the photos, just click and drag one to a new spot.
When you're happy with the final product, click Finish and follow the instructions for uploading it to Facebook.
Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and enterprise collaboration for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org
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