Facebook to introduce temporary profile pictures

It is testing out a new feature that will allow users to show their support for a cause by setting up a temporary display picture.

Published Date
14 - Sep - 2015
| Last Updated
14 - Sep - 2015
Facebook to introduce temporary profile pictures

Every now and then we decide to show our support for various causes by changing our profile picture on Facebook. A new feature is being tested by Facebook that will allow users to set a temporary profile picture for a fixed duration of time, after which it will automatically switch back to the previous one.
TechCrunch reports that Facebook is testing the Temporary Profile Picture feature with a few users and will be gradually made available to the rest. “We often see people use their profile pictures to support a cause, root for a team, and commemorate milestones like birthdays and anniversaries,” Facebook said in a statement to TechCrunch. It is introducing the feature to make it easier for users to express their feelings at a given moment “without having to worry about changing your profile picture back later.” In essence, it is an extension of updating your status.

While setting up the temporary profile picture, users will be prompted to set the expiration date. Once the date arrives, the previous profile picture gets reinstated without announcing it on the News Feed. Concerns are being raised about such a move making Facebook less intuitive to use. Most people are able to recognise their friends from the familiar profile picture. If people start using temporary profile pictures, it will become harder for their friends to recognise them simply by glancing at the picture

Soon after the US Supreme Court’s ruling, legalising gay marriage, millions of users, including Mark Zuckerberg, had applied rainbow filters to their profile picture in support of it.Cynics might debate that this feature will undermine the gravity of the cause that one is supporting. But, it might actually help in making some lesser-known causes visible, which would have otherwise been overlooked. 
Of late, Facebook has been  introducing new features or fine-tuning existing ones by analysing usage trends.The latest update to its timeline allows you to prioritise the updates that you see. Earlier, it had introduced a feature wherein Facebook suggested status updates to users. It also recently launched the Moments app in India that allows users to privately share photos with friends.

Image Source: The Verge