Facebook recently updated their newsfeed and timeline settings so that posts with large images use those large images now instead of a 90×90 thumbnail. I love this change. It makes posts stand out more on timelines and news feeds, which is critical for getting your content to stand out.

Partnered with this update is the option to upload a different photo when you post a link. This makes it handy when the page you’re sharing uses an image that’s too small.

Here are the tricks I use to make sure posts I share on my clients’s Facebook pages use as large an image as possible.

Let’s use this Globe and Mail news article about a 12-year-old hacker. Here’s what happens when I just copy and paste the link into the share box on a Facebook page:

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The image on the page I shared is only 220 pixels wide. Facebook needs the image to be at least 377 pixels wide in order to use the new format.

Tip #1: click on the image on the page you want to share

Many websites will bring up a larger version of story images you click on. The Globe and Mail is one of them. Here is what happens when I click on the image in the news article:

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All you need to do is right click the larger image and save it to your computer. My browser (Google Chrome) allows me to drag images off a webpage and onto my computer. I usually use my desktop because I treat it as a temporary holding place.

Now that you have your image saved, just click on the Upload Image option in your new Facebook post:

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Facebook will give you an option to browse to where you saved your photo. Once selected, it will replace the thumbnail with a much larger version. Here is our example post with the new image:

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See? Much better.

Now, what if it’s a site that doesn’t enlarge their photos when you click on them?

Tip #2: Use Google Images

Let’s look at this blog post on Healthy Place about anxiety and Thanksgiving.

Clicking on the image only provides access to the image itself, but the size is still the same. In this case, it’s under 377 pixels wide.

To get around this (this may only work in Chrome), right click and select “Search Google for this image”.

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This will bring you to a Google Images page providing you with access to various sizes of the image, visually similar images, and various webpages where the image appears:

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The first thing I do is click on “All sizes”. It doesn’t help in this case because all the images are the same size, but sometimes it has images in there that are over 3000 pixels wide.

I usually skip over “Visually similar images” because they are rarely what I need.

So, the next thing I do is scroll through all the pages with matching images and check for images over 377 pixels wide. Notice beside each image is the dimension of that image?

In our example, I find several examples on the second page that are 402×500, so I click on one of them. I get this screen:

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At this point, you can either save the image (right click or drag it). Alternatively, you can click on “Full-size image” to get a better option. I’m of the opinion that when working with images, always start with the best resolution possible. This is particularly the case with Facebook’s horrible image compression.

Just to summarize, here are my two tips:

  1. Click on the image on the page you want to share
  2. Use Google Images

I hope you find this useful.

Disclaimer: I use these techniques only when trying to find an image already in use on the image I am sharing. I recommend you do the same. Do not use these techniques to infringe on copyright.

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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