Facebook is testing a new feature called profile videos to help users move beyond the static avatar, the social networker announced on Wednesday. The new feature will allow users to upload seven-second video clips in place of profile photos.
Similar to Apple’s Live Photos
Facebook’s new feature will be initially rolled out to iPhone users in California and the UK, giving users in these areas the first chance to replace their profile photos with short looping videos. With the new feature, Facebook is making an effort to help users express their personalities and creativity.
“Soon, you’ll be able to film a short, looping video clip that will play for anyone who visits your profile,” Facebook said in a blog post.
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The profile videos will loop only when someone visits the profile page of a user. The video won’t appear when that person makes a status update that shows up in the news feed. Instead, a frame for the video selected by the user will be seen. The audio will not play if someone visits the profile of the person, instead it only plays in full-view mode including audio when you tap the video.
Facebook’s new feature is quite similar to Apple’s Live Photos, which turns the photos clicked with iPhones into super-shot videos. For now, Live Photos are not supported in Facebook’s profile videos.
More updates to Facebook profile
Facebook is also working on a feature that allows users to set up a temporary version of a profile picture that will, after a certain time, revert to their previous profile picture. For example, if someone wants to use the Celebrate Pride filter for a week or make use of a certain photo as the profile picture when their favorite team is in the playoffs and then change it back soon after, this new feature will come handy. The company will soon add a one-line bio field as well. Profile photos are somewhat similar to Snapchat’s animated profile avatars.
“It can be a visual status update to let your friends know what’s going on in your life today, or it can be your statement of solidarity for a cause you feel strongly about,” the social networker said.
Since the roll-out of Facebook Timeline, the new profile videos are the biggest update to Facebook profiles. The new feature will not support GIFs, but the videos will create a visual aesthetic that is quite similar.