The first impressionvirtually!

The first impressionvirtually!

The first impressionvirtually!

With hundreds of users logging in every day, one’s Facebook profile has become equivalent to their identity.

Every now and then, Facebook tweaks its design for a refreshing change. The latest modification, however, has been a lot more than just a tweak.

This time round, Facebook has completely transformed its display with the new concept of an online ‘Timeline’ with pictures, videos and posts updated chronologically.
The striking feature about the new look is the amount of visual display open to public scrutiny. The most eye-catching feature, however, is the first item you see on a friend’s profile, the enlarged and all-important — cover photo.

Since cover photos, unlike profile pictures, need not necessarily include one’s face, Facebook users have the freedom to get as creative as they like, while choosing them.
Chaarvi Badani, who spends a considerable amount of time on the social networking site, is all for cover photos.

“Mark (Zuckerberg) has done brilliantly by introducing the cover photo concept,” says the chatty eighteen-year-old.  “I think cover photos are a great way to express my current mindset,” she explains.

“Like, I put up a ‘Metallica’ picture if I want to go for a music concert or a caricature of Gene Kelly singing in the rain if the weather is favourable.”  However, Chaarvi admits that she never puts a cover photo of herself, because that’s what the profile picture is there for.

“I only put a cover photo that portrays my mood,” she says. Her final verdict? “Cover photos, for the win!” she exclaims. Seventeen-year-old Sharvari, likes her cover photos to represent the kind of relationship she shares with her friends.
“I do put pictures of myself, but only in a group of friends,” she says, explaining that she doesn’t like the publicity cover photos receive.

“There are privacy settings to customise who can see what for almost all Facebook features, except the cover photo!” she disapproves, highlighting her love-hate relationship with the new feature. “However, I’ve seen some really creative, attention-grabbing cover pictures, which make you want to see more about the person’s profile,” she says, describing how some of her friends edit their cover photos on Photoshop to give an echoing effect to their profile pictures.

“The most interesting are the ones which are coordinated with the person’s profile pictures,” she says, adding that the two images form a short story about the person’s profile. On the other hand, there are those that don’t pay any particular attention to their cover photos. Varun Patravali confesses that he usually doesn’t bother himself with cover photos, but a few months ago, he was inspired to put one up.

“It was Ayrton Senna’s 18th death anniversary in May,” he begins. “He’s probably the one person who is a complete inspiration to me so I felt the need to put a picture of him as my cover picture,” he recalls.

Varun is quick to add that this was an exceptional case.  “It was just this one time,” he clarifies, “other times, it’s not so important to choose a cover picture.” Being the first thing that appears when you access a friend’s profile, the cover photo nearly becomes a
representation of what to expect from one’s profile.

Moreover, sitting so close to the person’s profile picture, the cover photo, along with the profile picture exposes the online personality of the user. This creates a sort of ‘virtual first impression,’ to which people pay much attention.