When a potential customer goes onto a business’ Facebook page, the first thing they see is the page’s cover photo (or cover video). So, as the manager of a Facebook page, this is a location where you want to infuse vital information to attract the customer and get them to scroll further.
How do you upload a GIF as a Facebook cover? To upload a GIF as a Facebook cover, you will need to first convert the file to a video format. Afterward, you will be able to upload the new video file.
Consider using a Facebook cover video template for a quick solution. Choose from templates, customize graphics and text, save video, and upload to Facebook.
If you have tried uploading a GIF to your Facebook cover, you may have already discovered that, although a video or a photo can be uploaded as a Facebook cover, Facebook does not support the GIF file format. If you try to upload a GIF as your cover photo, Facebook will automatically convert the GIF into a JPEG and choose the first still image as the cover photo instead.
What is a GIF?
What exactly is a GIF in the first place? The term GIF is an acronym that stands for “Graphics Interchange Format.” Putting it simply, a GIF (pronounced “jiff” or “gif” depending on your preference) is just an animated image file. They have become very popular recently, but the GIF file format is, in fact, two years older than the internet itself. Since GIFS are neither JPEGs (or a still image) nor are they videos, they can be a little tricky to use on social media posts.
Well, then you are probably wondering why you would want to use a GIF as opposed to a video or just a picture if that is the case? Well, firstly, GIFs are typically shorter than videos and do not require audio to convey a message. So, a viewer can get a large chunk of information in a time-saving way (which also looks good for a brand’s image). Also, a GIF can communicate more than a single still image can.
GIFs are more accessible than videos also. There are thousands of free GIFs available on the web, and thousands more are being created every day. Most of these are available for free without the added worry of copyright. So, someone looking to use a GIF can easily find the right one to download and use.
Also, GIFs play on repetition such that, if you are trying to beat a message into a viewer’s head, they will see it on repeat several times before they have the urge to stop watching it. If a video is on autoplay and you do not want to watch it, you will simply scroll on to the next thing, but with a GIF, you are likely to stare at it three or four times before you have even considered moving on.
GIFs are also cheap, easy to create, and yet, can still be sophisticated. Videos, on the other hand, are not usually on the cheap or easy to create.
Where Can You Get GIFs From?
Accessing a GIF file is simple with several open-source sites available where you can readily download or use GIFs. Finding the right GIF can be as simple as typing a phrase into a search engine and adding the word GIF at the end. Keep in mind though, a GIF is not what we need for Facebook, a video is.
Giphy.com is a whole GIF search engine of its own and a great place to find thousands of open source GIFs. These GIFs can also be downloaded directly unto your PC or a phone if you have downloaded the GIPHY app.
There are other GIF search engines available for free as well. There are also several apps where you can easily take several pictures and convert them into your own GIF. Live photos on smartphones operate like GIFs and can be uploaded to GIF-making sites and further edited as well.
However, for a Facebook Cover, you will need a video file. You can either find a GIF and convert it to a video, or just find a video to begin with.
To keep this process simple, we recommend using a Facebook cover video template. They are pre-made templates that can be customized to your needs. Simply pick the layout you like best, and start adding your own images and text.
These will download as a video file, and make uploading to Facebook quick and easy.
Is Uploading a GIF the Same as Uploading a Video?
GIFs and videos are not the same thing. Although you have to convert your GIF to a video file format before being able to use it as your Facebook cover, to the one viewing it, it will still be interpreted in their mind as a GIF. Basically, a viewer will perceive a GIF on your cover as a moving picture as opposed to a video.
It is advisable to use a GIF when you want to invoke a quick emotional response from an audience or when you want to express an emotional response yourself. GIFs can summarize a lot of information into a single action or a single facial expression or a single caption.
However, it is advisable to use a video when the message you want to convey cannot be expressed within seconds. There may be technical facts you wish to communicate or a pitch you would like to make to a group that will take more than just a couple seconds. But, keep in mind that with your Facebook cover, you also cannot go over a minute and a half (or 90 seconds), so you still need to keep your videos short, nonetheless.
Check out this link to see some other cool ways GIFs can be used in marketing for a company.
Converting Your GIF to a Video Format
Even though your GIF will need to be converted to a video file, it is still possible to upload a GIF as a cover photo. The easiest way to do this is to simply convert the file’s format to a video format that meets the requirements laid out by Facebook. After this, upload the converted file instead of the GIF file. There are a few ways to go about this process outlined below:
Option One: Convert Your GIF to a Video File Using a Video Editing Software
As mentioned before, one of the easiest methods to get a GIF uploaded unto your Facebook cover is to convert your GIF to a video file. If you have any form of video editing software on your computer, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Filmora or iMovie, you can do this in four simple steps:
- STEP 1 – Open the video editing software on your computer
- STEP 2 – Import your GIF to a blank project inside your video editing software
- STEP 3 – Most video editing software have similar features, a timeline, a media browser, etc. Once your GIF has uploaded, you can drag it down to the timeline in your video editing software.
- STEP 4 – Go to your export options. Within the export media box that should be open at this point, choose a common video format such as MPEG, MP4, or MOV. The GIF will export as a new video, and you can now upload this new video to Facebook as a cover video.
Option Two: A Different Way to Convert GIFs to Video Files
While the first method works great on a computer, if you have video editing software, there are many circumstances where you may not have one or both things (i.e., the PC and the software). What if you are trying to upload the GIF to your Facebook cover from your mobile device instead? What if you do not have video editing software, and you do not want to download one for this sole purpose?
Also, not all video editing software can be used on a smartphone. So, if for any reason method one is not ideal for you, another way you can convert a GIF to a compatible video file is to find a software that will convert the file for you:
- STEP 1 – Download the app “GIF to Video”, available for Android here or “GIF Cracker”, available for iPhone here.
- STEP 2 – Make sure your GIF is on your smartphone.
- STEP 3 – On Android, all the GIFs in your gallery appear automatically in the app. Just select the GIF you want to convert and click convert. On an iPhone, if the GIF does not appear automatically in the app, click refresh (it should be a GIF in your image gallery). Select the GIF>Video tab on your options at the bottom of the page and select the GIF you wish to convert. A convert pop up window will show up.
- STEP 4 – Adjust the settings of your video to meet Facebook’s guidelines before exporting.
Facebook Cover Video Specifications
Facebook has laid out the following recommendations for uploading a cover video, outlining the file size, video dimensions, and its time duration:
The cover should have a minimum size of 820 pixels wide x 312 pixels high. But, several third-party video-editing software companies recommend a size of 820 x 462 pixels for best results because of the way it will be viewed on different devices (more on this below).
The additional height of 75 pixels at the top and bottom of your image is cropped out when someone views your page on the Desktop version of Facebook. But the extra height is good for the aspect ratio of mobile devices.
You can manually adjust the size of the video you will get from converting your GIF file in the process. If you are using method 1, after clicking on export and selecting the file format you want, the width and the height of the resulting video can be adjusted within the same dialogue box.
If you are using method 2, you can also manually adjust the dimensions of your video within the app you are using. After selecting convert in Gif to Video, the app will give additional instructions on this. On GIF Cracker, the dimensions are in the window that shows up when you select your GIF to convert.
Again, this is where using a template will be handy because it comes pre-formatted to all of Facebook’s requirements.
The time duration should be between 20 and 90 seconds.
Most GIFs are not up to 20 seconds long. If your GIF is too short to meet the minimum time duration on its own, increase the number of times your converted video loops the footage of the original animation until the video meets the time required.
Facebook recommends MP4 and MOV file formats. You could use other video file formats in your conversion, but this could cause an extra headache. Also, note that cover videos can have a maximum resolution of 1080 pixels.
You should not have too much of a problem with the file size, but overall, Facebook accepts files up to a limit of 1.75GB, so make sure to keep your video file under this size.
In addition to these things, Facebook requests that:
- Your video cover should not be deceptive or misleading
- Your video should not infringe upon any copyrights
How to Upload Your GIF/Video as a Facebook Cover
Now that you have your GIF converted to a video file, it is time to upload the video as a cover on Facebook. This feature is only available on Facebook pages, not on an individual’s profile page. For profile pages, Facebook does have some native animations that you can pick as your cover photo.
- First, head over to your Facebook Page. Where the cover is shown, you will see a video icon and the words “change cover” next to the icon. Click on this.
- A dropdown box will appear. Select the option “Upload photo/video.”
- A window will appear that will allow you to choose a file from your computer. Select your converted video file. At this point, you will be able to drag to reposition your video.
- Your cover will automatically resize to an aspect ratio of 16:9 when you upload it. But it is viewed differently on different devices.
Note: On the Facebook mobile version, the sides of your cover will be cut off, making it 360 pixels tall and 640 pixels wide. So, while you need to have a minimum width of 820 pixels, you must compensate for the sides that will be cut off when viewing your page on mobile. Leave a “safe zone” of 90 pixels on each side and avoid having any vital part of your cover in these margins. The cover templates mentioned earlier take care of this for you.
On the PC version of Facebook, the same cropping applies, but this time it occurs on the top and the bottom. This time, the image will be viewed as if it were 820 pixels x 312 pixels. Again, leave a safe zone of 24 pixels at the top and the bottom where you do not put vital information such as a caption. If you’re using a template, you don’t need to worry about this.
Facebook lets you scroll through up to 10 thumbnail options. But with a GIF, the best option for a thumbnail is most likely to be the first still image in the animation. Granted, this may not always be the case.
When you are satisfied with your upload, select the “Save” option at the bottom left-hand corner of the cover.
Take it for a Test Run
Now that your cover is uploaded, it is important to open your Facebook page on different devices to see if the cover appears the way that you intended it to in uploading it.
Trouble Uploading? Here Are Some Extra Tips
If your video is still not uploading unto Facebook, there is most likely an issue with the file size or the file specifications. Go back and double-check that your video meets all the requirements discussed above. If not, convert the file again and make sure those corrections are made. Then try your upload again.
It could also be that there is an issue with your browser speed: if the first does not apply, check on the second to be sure.
You may have noticed that the audio on your Facebook cover is disabled by default. Since GIFs also do not store sound, it is likely that for your converted video, you will not need to activate the audio at all; this should not pose any serious problems.
In this article, we broke down two of the most straight forward ways to upload a GIF as a Facebook cover photo. While there are some other methods to go about uploading your GIF, these other methods are more complicated and take up a lot of time. All in all, for the easiest way to use a GIF/Video as a Facebook cover photo, we recommend using a Facebook cover video template. They are quick and easy, and pre-formatted with all of Facebook’s requirements in mind.