Facebook is getting spooky. Things are starting to disappear. Don’t worry, though, Facebook isn’t haunted, the company is just cracking down on cover photos deemed too promotional. If your cover photo has disappeared over the past few days, there’s a good reason for it. Facebook is deleting any cover photo that promotes a company, brand, or entity. But, wait – what if you are an individual Facebook user and not representing a company? Seemingly, none of the details really matter.
Why Facebook Is Snatching Cover Photos
Facebook is a lot of things. First and foremost, however, Facebook is a company. Companies tend to have one goal: to make money. If Facebook allows users to promote companies by displaying cover photos, the social network could stand to lose some dollars. How? Right now, Facebook has a number of tools in place for businesses that use the social network as a branding platform.
At present, these businesses do not have to pay to use Facebook’s tools. It is plausible, though, that this model may change in the near future. If Facebook starts charging companies to use social tools (and to brand across the social network), letting users post company photos for free wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Facebook also tends to generate ad revenue from companies that promote brands on the network. Free promotion via user photo posting would detract from that revenue.
Is a Crackdown a Bad Idea?
If your Facebook photo was recently snatched, you will be greeted with a “use your own photo” message the next time you try to post a cover photo. This means that you can’t post any images of movies, celebrities, brands, or any photo that comes from a major company. Love your photo of Mickey Mouse that you snatched from the Disney Facebook page? Too bad; Facebook doesn’t want you to use Disney’s photos, so take your own pictures of Mickey the next time you are in Florida.
Facebook has always let users display any photographs or posts, for the most part. So, why is Facebook now using the copyright infringement tactic to prevent users from posting company photos, posters, and brands? It could be that Facebook genuinely wants people to stop using company photos for fear of copyright law.
Or, it might be that the Facebook financial forecast isn’t looking so hot. Whatever the reason may be, if your photo is promotion at all (this includes promoting your own blog, by the way), Facebook will take it down. Right now, there’s no way to put that photo back up on your cover, but you can snap a different one (as long as it’s your own).
As far as owning a company and using Facebook to promote that company, well, you will have to pay for ad space. Otherwise, Facebook will not let you generate any new consumer interesting using a free Facebook page. While seemingly unfair, this is really just a matter of dollars and cents. Has your cover photo disappeared?