Louie Baur Louie Baur is Editor at Long Beach Louie, a Long Beach Restaurant Review site as well as Skateboard Park. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Facebook is testing out temporary profile pictures

1 min read

Anytime a cause becomes popular on social media, there’s a good chance that some of your friends on Facebook are going to change their profile picture to an image that represents the cause. It’s been an unofficial way to show your support for various causes for years, and now it looks like Facebook is finally working on a way to make it official. Apparently the company is testing a new Temporary Profile Picture feature that allows you to change your profile picture to something new, but set a timer on it so that it reverts back to your original picture after a certain amount of time.

Your profile picture is the message you send most. There’s no easier, more ubiquitous way to raise awareness for a cause then splashing your pic rainbow for gay rights or green to promote the Arab Spring. Now Facebook is giving people a tool to leverage this tiny billboard. With its new Temporary Profile Picture feature that’s slated for a broader rollout, you can change your pic but have it revert to your old one after a set number of hours, days or weeks. While it could prevent stale memes from squatting in people’s profile pics, the feature could also encourage pics that don’t show people’s faces, making them harder to identify at a glance. You can argue it’s a shallow way to support a cause, but it’s better than total apathy. Still, people who really want to make a difference might consider sharing links to donate time or money to related charities instead of just this clicktivism. I received a report of the feature from one of TechCrunch’s readers (thanks Suki B aka @ForkToPen), and when asked to confirm the sightings, Facebook admitted it’s testing the feature with a small number of users, and hopes to roll it out more broadly in the coming months.

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Louie Baur Louie Baur is Editor at Long Beach Louie, a Long Beach Restaurant Review site as well as Skateboard Park. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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