Social network Facebook has made two subtle changes to its website in updating the cover photos policy and adding a reply button to pages and profiles.

A Change in Policy

Despite being released in late 2011, the cover photos feature hasn't gone through many updates. Previously the policy stated that cover photos couldn't include more than 20 percent text, have pricing or purchasing information, any contact information that would commonly appear in the about section of page such as a mailing or website address, references to Facebook features such as the like or share buttons and “calls to action” such has “tell your friends.”

These guidelines were very limited, especially with marketers as they put a constraint on how well a cover image could be used as a promotional tool, but the newest policy update reflects a more relaxed and open set of guidelines.

It states:

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines. Covers may not include images with more than 20 percent text.”

According to Brittany Darwell of Inside Facebook, this update is a good thing for the social network, as it gives users more control by removing certain limitations.

The new guidelines give page owners more flexibility in the type of content they include in their covers,” she says.

While these changes have been made, Facebook hasn't made a official statement regarding the updated policy.

A Better Comment Structure

The cover photo guidelines aren't the only changes the social network has made. Last November, Facebook started beta testing a new threading feature designed to make comment threads more conversational. With this feature, users still had the option to comment to the content that was posted or could reply to a specific comment. All of the comment replies would be curated together, which in turn makes the thread easier to navigate.

It appears that this test was a success as certain pages now have an added a reply option to popular pages and profiles, such as the New York Times. While threading is currently done in chronological order, it is expected this will soon change with the most popular comments being regulated to the top of the thread.


Despite this attempt to make comment threads more conversational, this feature isn't as accommodating as initially thought, but this could change as Facebook updates the service.

Only pages and the social network's most popular profiles… will get the threaded version,” said Addy Dugdale of Fast Company. “It won't work on third-party management apps, and it won't work on mobile at first, although expect that to change at some point.”

According to Dugdale, users who qualify for the reply feature can opt out of the service starting on March 25, with all other profiles and pages changing over on July 10.

Other Facebook Updates

While the reply button and cover photo policy are the social network’s most recent updates, it's also been considering using hashtags and has made updates to the news feed feature and navigation buttons.