Facebook Takes a Cue from Snapchat with New Profile Frames

Facebook is releasing a new tool that will allow anyone – including Facebook Page owners – to create custom profile frames that others can discover and use on the social network. Through the Camera Effects Platform, Facebook users can design profile frames that are similar to Snapchat’s on-demand geofilters, which the app launched earlier this year.

The Camera Effects Platform will initially be available to users in Colombia, Mexico, Taiwan, Ireland and the UK, and will soon open up to other countries. Facebook is also testing a new in-app camera that offers more Snapchat-like features, including overlaid graphics, selfie masks and other filters.

Frames are divided into two categories – General and Location. General frames support causes, events, teams or other “just for fun” ideas. Location frames include geographic places, such as neighborhoods, cities or landmarks. Frames must meet Facebook’s design guidelines; for example, art has to be 100% original, and should complement but not dominate a photo or video.

To make a profile frame, download one of Facebook’s templates or create a custom design in a software such as Photoshop or Canva. Then upload the frame as a PNG (with a transparent background) to preview it in different sizes: square, portrait or landscape. Add details to your frame, and when you’re satisfied with the final design, submit it to Facebook for approval. The review process takes about a week, so it’s important to build in lead time for upcoming events.

Once Facebook has approved and activated the frame, it is available to the public. People can add it to the photos and videos they share on Facebook, and you have access to data on how often it’s being used.

The Camera Effects Platform opens up a lot of creative opportunities for brands to engage audiences in a visual, shareable way. With General frames, you can promote new product launches, fun celebrations or awareness for select causes; with Location frames, you can highlight your company’s city or neighborhood pride, or advertise special local events and promotions.

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