Facebook just updated their Page Terms. If you have a Facebook Page (I know you do), you went right over there and read the new terms to make sure you’re compliant, right?
No? No problem. The folks at Tabsite did it for you and they discovered a missing piece. The original terms said that you could not upload a cover photo that was more than 20% text. Because it’s hard to gauge how much text makes up 20% you had to be careful with company names, web addresses, contact information, pricing . . . pretty much anything that you’d normally want to put in front of a customer at a glance.
In the new terms, which went online July 1, 2013, this line is missing. It still says you can’t be deceptive and infringe on someone else’s copyright. You also can’t encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timeline. (Another weird rule.) But apparently, you can now load your cover image with text if you like.
I never understood the reason for the rule in the first place. You’d think it was to keep Facebook from looking too cluttered but is it likely that Facebook actually cares about that? A blurry, off-center image looks just as bad and there was never a rule against using awful graphics. More likely, (beware. . . cynic ahead.. . . ) Facebook was worried that cover photos with text would be the same as allowing free billboard ads on every Page. Can’t have that. Not when you’re in the business of selling ad space.
What’s surprising is that Facebook bothered to remove the rule. Were they getting complaints from people who desperately wanted to fill 21% with words? And what happens now? Will there be a rush to put up cover images that look like a page from a novel? Even if Facebook says you can, do you think that’s the best way to attract customers?
You know what I wish? I wish Facebook would stop calling them covers and call them headers like everyone else. Covers “cover” the content as in the cover of a book. Headers introduce your content. And don’t get me started on the word “Pages.”
Now that you’re free to choose, will you be changing your Facebook Page “Cover” to include more text?