Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Make a snazzy Facebook profile page with these apps

25

January

Late last year, when Facebook introduced the new layout for your profile page, it opened up an unintended but creative new way to dress up your profile. French artist Alexandre Oudin has been credited with this discovery, after he figured out how to utilize the row of five pictures at the top of the page in a unique way.

oudin.png

Since his discovery, many people have been tinkering with their profile pages using various methods, including Photoshop templates. And now there are many automated ways to create the images for a snazzy profile like Oudin's. Some are Facebook apps and some are tools outside Facebook that generate images for upload to set your profile manually. Take a look:

  • Profile Maker - A Facebook app that lets you upload a photo, move it around, flip it, enlarge it, adjust the number of text lines at the top and then send it it your profile. You can see a preview the whole time you're working which makes it very easy to use.
  • Oudinizer - A Facebook app that automates the Oudin process in three clicks. It works fine but there isn't as much control as you get with Profile Maker.
  • FB Photo Magic - An external web page that generates the images for Facebook than uploads them to your profile. This one has less control over the images than some of the others.
  • Awesome Profile - Another Facebook app that's very easy to use and gives you a lot of control over image placement.
  • Facebook Full Page Pic Generator - An external web page tool where you submit a photo that is cut up into six photos, formatted and ready for upload to Facebook. This one takes more trial and error to get things right, but it does give you complete control over the image.

Of the five choices above, Profile Maker is the best and easiest to use with the most control over your image. A close second would be Awesome Profile.

I used Profile Maker to create a new Gadget Guy profile page and it took just a few minutes. As you can see in the image below, the process is very simple and requires you only to upload a photo, adjust it to the template and then send it to your profile. The five images in the bar at top are placed into an album and tagged for proper placement. You have to make the tall photo at right your profile photo, manually.

screen_shot_2011-01-25_at_10.41.11_am.png

This is a really cool way to dress up your Facebook page but their are come caveats. First, when one of your friends tags a photo of you it will bump one of the photos out of top bar. You can delete the new tagged photo from the bar by hovering over it and clicking on the small "X" that appears, but who wants to do that all the time? Hopefully Facebook will provide a way to lock the five photos in the bar so you can keep your profile page looking the way you want.

Secondly, the thumbnail created with these tools is a small piece from the tall profile picture at right. You can edit your thumbnail and slide the image around for better placement, but it if the image you use is a close-up, like Oudin's photo, you could end up with just an eyeball or a piece of the background as your thumbnail.

If you use one of these tools to make a cool profile page, send me a screen grab and I'll share it here with all the other Gadgeteers.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:20am]

    

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