Facebook has announced some major changes to its app interface, the major one being the ability to record a short looping video as a profile picture. The company is describing the move as a natural evolution, as more and more of its users are creating and viewing videos.
The new GIF-like auto-playing Facebook profile video can be up to 7 seconds long. Users can record it with sound, but the audio will only be heard if a person clicks on it. People can switch to the new feature by selecting the camcorder icon and choosing ‘Take a New Profile Video’ or simply uploading one.
Facebook claims up to 4 billion people view profiles on the site every day, and the new features it’s introduced are meant to give users maximum control over how they’re perceived. Profile pictures are now at the center of the app and can be made temporary for a specified period of time, after which the image reverts back to the original photo.
The change was inspired by the reaction Facebook got from its Celebrate Pride filter, which was utilized by over 26 million people. The social networking site thinks people will be able to use it as a way to highlight events in their life, like weddings or birthdays, and to show support for causes they believe in.
There’s also a new Bio field, where users can describe themselves within 100 characters. Users can choose what appears on their page by modifying the visibility settings. Facebook additionally lets users select up to 5 featured photos to showcase on the top of their profile.
Facebook is testing out its new features with only a small number of iPhone users in the UK and California for now. It plans to make the update available for wider release gradually.