If you’ve uploaded to Facebook, you may have noticed that Facebook does something funky with the pictures that you post. With 350+ million pictures being uploaded every day, it is no surprise that Facebook wants to save on bandwidth and costs.

The Problem.

Photographers know that the images uploaded to Facebook tend to look like junk, especially after they’ve gone through hours of editing (or have spent money for someone to retouch their images). Even clients get a little crazy when the images they upload– those wonderful family pictures that they’ve received, turn out strange and degraded online.

The reason they look like junk is because Facebook not only resizes your images when you upload them but also compresses them– either of which alone could typically kill the quality of your image.

The Solution.

Here’s the deal straight from Facebook’s Help Center:

We automatically resize and format your photos when you upload them to Facebook. To help make sure your photos appear in the highest possible quality, try these tips:
  • Resize your photo to one of the following supported sizes:
    • Regular photos: 720px, 960px or 2048px wide
    • Cover photos: 851px by 315px
  • To avoid compression when you upload your cover photo, make sure the file size is less than 100KB
  • Save your image as a JPEG with an sRGB color profile

Remember, you can batch resize in Lightroom with the File > Export command or choose File > Scripts > Image Processor to do the same in Photoshop.

Another option you have to enable is the option to upload photos to an album in high quality.  This option only exists when you’re uploading multiple pictures from a computer and will ensure that any image that you don’t manually resize to 2048px, will be resized to 2048px.

Also, change your settings on Facebook Mobile, so that your photos are uploaded in HD by default. The images will be resized to 2048px, and will still reveal a bit of degradation from compression, but it is better than 720px with compression.

Digging around on Facebook’s Help Center has revealed some good guidance. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been on there and I’m sure they’ve heard numerous complaints about image quality since then, so they maybe have updated it earlier to me finding it!
Try it out! See if Facebook’s tips work and let me know in the comments if you’ve noticed any difference at all in the quality.