Everything You Need To Know About The FB Temporary Profile Picture & Why We Think It’s Not A Good Idea

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Ever heard of FB’s temporary profile pictures?

Remember when your Facebook friends started changing their profile pictures with overlays of flags? Like the #PrayforGaza profile picture? Or when Paris was attacked by terrorists? Or when the US legalised same-sex marriages?

Facebook Temporary Profile Pictures

That’s right, profile pictures like this:

Image: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com
Image: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

Before Facebook’s temporary profile picture rolled out, you would have to set it as your profile picture and then change back to a normal profile picture. Well, with Facebook’s new feature, you can set the above picture for a certain period of time. Once that time is up, your profile picture goes back to what it was before.

Image: techentice.com
Image: techentice.com

Simply upload your profile picture then click on the “Make Temporary” tab. You can choose to set that picture as your profile for an hour, a day, a week or you can specify a certain date for the picture to expire. You can check out the steps here.

How Did It Come About

Now, this feature comes about after people started including flag overlays in their profile pictures to show support for countries like Paris. You can also do it to show the world that you are celebrating a special occasion for the day such as a birthday or an anniversary. Or even if your favourite football team is having a game later that night.

It sounds like a good move at first. But we at the office are having second thoughts.

Of course, it’s a good thing to show your support, even if it is just through social media. At least it’s something. I mean, it’s the thought that counts right? (Don’t even get me started on those who blindly follow the trend just for attention.)


But, have you ever stopped to think about how the meaning it conveys? By setting the picture as temporary, be it an overlay or an image, it seems, to us at least, to show that these show of support is a temporary thing. Today, we support a cause and tomorrow, we remove it and forget all about it.

Now, we understand that picture or not, you might remember and support them on the inside, even if you’ve taken down the picture. But will we grow so used to the idea of doing something for a period of time, then forgetting about it?

For instance, the latest bombing in Brussels or the accident on the Pasir Ris train track. You change your profile picture today and have it expire tomorrow. In a couple of years, maybe even months or weeks, most of us are probably not going to remember the people involved in these incidents.

Support shouldn’t just be given only at the moment, it should be given all the time. #PrayforGaza shouldn’t be just for a few weeks, it should be all the time. If you change your profile picture for a special occasion just for a period of time, what is the point?

We don’t know about you, but we’re not so sure of this whole new feature.

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