EdgeRank is the algorithm used by Facebook to help determine where and what posts appear on the news feed for each user by promoting interesting and relevant content they want to see first. The algorithm factors in three variables: affinity, weight and time decay. In general, the idea is to show you the freshest and most engaging content from your connections, while also considering your previous activity history on Facebook.
So what does optimizing images have to do with EdgeRank?
1. The News Feed is Competitive
Did you know it’s almost 30X easier to get into Harvard than it is to get into the Facebook News Feed? The average Facebook News Feed acceptance rate is 0.2% according to the latest available data, and is likely to even be far more competitive now!
2. Photo Post Dominate the News Feed
The percentage of News Feed stories that contain photos grew by over 150%. But remember photo posts aren’t the only images that need to be optimized on Facebook. There are a ton of other images like your profile picture, cover photo, link preview images and more.
So what are the proper image dimensions?
1. Photo Page Posts/Sponsored Stories
Facebook generally recomends 600px by 600px photos with an optimal size of 552px X 414px. The minimum required is 200px by 200px.
Rule of Thumb: Images that get scaled down tend to look much better than images scaled up. So when in doubt, use bigger pictures.
2. Cover Photos
The optimal cover photo width is 851px X 315px. However, Facebook will accept photos of at least 399px width and stretch them out. Facebook recently relaxed their rules on cover photos allowing for calls-to-action, contact info and price/purchase info. Cover photos still can’t include more than 20% text though.
3. Profile Picture
Profile pictures are always cropped to fit a square, seen at 180px X 180px, regardless of their size.
4. Link Preview Images
Similar to profile photos, this is cropped down to a square block viewed at 154px X 154px. So keep this in mind when optimizing the shareability of your blog by looking to have one square image available. You can still use rectangular featured images if need be, just make sure the center of the photo has a meaningful crop.