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The Many Types of Facebook Profile Pics

Updated on November 7, 2013
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 7 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.

A Facebook Superstar

Social networking is one of the most popular activities on the internet. There are many social networking sites such as MySpace, Friendster, Twitter, but of course, none are more popular than Facebook. It seems like everyone and their brother is on Facebook. Some people even have more than one account. Obviously, since it seems like everybody is using Facebook, it is crucial to have an awesome profile pic. After being on Facebook for so long, we've all started to see certain trends and types of profile pics.

Your Facebook profile pic is the first thing people see when they click on your page. Not only is it a good idea to have a nice profile photo, many people consider their profile pic to be a representation of themselves. The same way most people do not want to leave the house without looking nice, most people do not want to give a bad impression on their Facebook profile.

With that said, let's explore all of the many types of Facebook profile pics. There are as many pics as there are people on Facebook, but most profile photos do fall into certain types. So let's have a little fun and put some photos into Facebook profile pic categories.

The Standard Profile Pic

Many people just go with a basic profile photo. There is nothing wrong with that. When trying to put your best foot forward, you certainly can play it safe with a nice, normal close-up or even a distant shot if you are a little shy.

For some reason, most of these standard photos are taken in the bathroom, livingroom, or bedroom by the person whose Facebook page you are visiting. I am not sure if this suggests that they needed to take 20 photos to get the right one and decided no friends could be a part of this process, or perhaps it suggests all their friends are too busy on Facebook and not able to participate. No matter what the reason, the standard Facebook profile photo seems to be the most popular.

UPDATE: There is new movement to now call many standard photos "Selfies." I personally hate this term, but it basically means you've taken a photo of yourself and posted it online. Most people act as if selfies are terrible, and yes, that may be true if you constantly post them. However, a selfie here or there is totally normal, especially when they are not overly sexual. I mean, sometimes you are having a good hair day, and why shouldn't you take a photo to celebrate it?

The Group Facebook Profile Shot

I believe the group shot exists for the exact opposite reason the Standard Profile Pic exists - some people want to prove that they do indeed have friends and not everyone they know is online.

Usually the Group Facebook Shot is taken somewhere fun, like at Friday's or a party. Everyone looks terribly jubilant in the photo for no particular reason. All of this is plenty of fun unless you are reunited or meeting someone for the first time on Facebook. If that is the case, then you need to somehow determine who is the actual user of this profile page. You'd better hope someone bothered to tag the photo!

The Drunken Facebook Photo

Oh dear! For some reason, people love getting trashed and taking photos of it. Do you know what was so wonderful about... oh, I don't know... 10 years ago? You could do something totally embarrassing and even if someone took your photo, no one posted it on Facebook. This was a great time.

Now, if you do something embarrassing while you are drunk, your friends are posting it on Facebook. As if that is not bad enough, for some crazy reason, some people decide to use that as their Facebook profile pic. I am still trying to figure out the psychology behind that one; something tells me that is going to need its own hub.

The Action Shot

Well, what could be more fun than an action shot as a profile pic on Facebook? Some of us (yes, me - I admit it) spend minutes (or even hours) trying to capture the perfect action photo to use on Facebook. Every now and then, a terrific spontaneous moment occurs and it is caught on film. Unfortunately, those moments are few and far between.

Many action shots are staged on Facebook, but don't let that take the fun out of it. Obviously someone went to a lot of trouble to keep their friends entertained on Facebook. There is certainly something to be said for that.

The Pet Photo

Yes, I know pets are cute. Yes, I know everyone loves their pet. However, I still have not figured out why people use their pet as their Facebook profile picture. After all, people are visiting your profile page to visit you! So therefore, I want to see the photo of the person's page I am visiting... not the pet.

Now if your pet has their own Facebook page, that is another story entirely. By all means, post a photo of the pet on the pet's page. I mean, one may wonder your pet has a Facebook profile, but I am not here to judge.

The Baby Photo

Once again, the same goes for photos of your baby. Of course, you are proud and want to post photos all over your page starring your new baby. Everyone can understand that. However, your profile pic is for you. For some reason, people still constantly post their baby's photo as their main Facebook profile pic. I guess it is OK since it is posted with love, but just remember if your profile pic is open to the public, so is your baby's photo. Just saying.

The Anonymous Profile Pic

This one goes without saying - some people just do not bother to post a profile pic ever. It's weird and a little creepy, but that is how some people feel. I am not sure if these people are secret agents or extremely private, but there is no Facebook profile photo. It is rather sad.

To anyone without a profile pic and reading this, let me tell you what most people really think of you: they don't believe you know how to download a photo. So give it a try someday. It's not that tough.

The Avatar Profile Pic

The Avatar Profile Pic is somewhere between the Anonymous Profile Pic and the Standard Profile Pic. Someone went through the trouble to personalize and download an avatar, but they still not want to have their actual face shown on Facebook. The Avatar Profile Pic is also perfect for someone who wants to live out some type of fantasy in a picture. After all, you can't ordinarily pose with a unicorn in a photo, but nothing stops your avatar from doing so.

The Artsy Pic

Oh, some of us love to get creative. We spend hours taking the right photo and then decide to decorate it a little more. There are many sites that will allow you to "jazz up" your photo. You can turn your pic into a classy black & white photo. You can decide to go totally retro with a brown tone. You can go crazy with colors or add sparkles. If you are a 13 year old girl, this is the perfect photo option for you.

No matter who you are, spicing up your photos a bit can be fun. Nothing says you are the most fun on Facebook more than an artsy profile pic. Your friends will be jealous in no time!

The Extremely Photoshopped Profile Photo

Nothing says "I lack self confidence" more than a photo that has been photoshopped to the extreme. How can you tell if a photo has been photoshopped too much? Did you go on Facebook today and see your friend's new profile photo shows her 20 pounds skinnier and standing in France? Do you know for a fact she has never been that skinny and never been to France? Furthermore, did you just eat lunch with her yesterday?

Yes, she has fallen victim an Extremely Photoshopped Profile Photo. Now is the time to sit her down and have a little "profile pic intervention." Help her now before it is too late!

The Couple Profile Pic

According to a couple of comments placed on this hub, the most annoying of all profile pics was not even included in the original version of this hub, so of course, I am happy to add it. The Couple Profile Pic looks exactly as it sounds. It can feature a couple kissing, a couple holding hands at the beach, or even a wedding photo. This is a profile pic that says, "I am so lovable! Look at me!"

While it is natural to be proud of your new married status or excited to be dating a wonderful person, not every single profile pic has to promote that fact. Every now and then, you can post a photo of just you, or even you and your friends together. Just a thought.

The Here's Some Stuff I Like Pic

This particular Facebook profile pic is very general. People like certain items or places and they just simply post that as a profile photo. This can be anything from a beautiful beach scene to something odd like a potted plant. Usually this type of profile photo is one step away from the Anonymous Profile Pic. Some people do not like to have their picture taken, but they do not want to leave a blank spot where their photo should be. So they kindly use a photo that is nice, something that represents them, but it is also not their actual photo.

If a person is that camera shy, then obviously, this is the best photo for them. I do hope they post at least one photo or two in a Facebook photo album though. Trust me, with the right angles, anyone can have a nice photo. Which leads to...

The Awkward Angle Pic

On MySpace, this type of photo used to be referred to as "The Angles." Whenever someone had a photo with the angles, you knew they were trying to cover something up. Perhaps they did not like a certain feature on their body. This person finally figured out a way to take every photo from a particular angle to keep that feature from being too prominent.

You can definitely see some photos with the angles on Facebook. On Facebook, I like to call it the Awkward Angle Pic. For some odd reason, people are a more open on Facebook than MySpace, so you do not see it as often. However, there are some people that still use this technique. There is really nothing wrong with it. Sometimes you just want to show off a particular part of your body or maybe some new shoes, and you take a photo at a weird angle. Usually it is cute for a while, but an Awkward Angle Pic should never be used as a profile pic for an extended period of time. It starts getting... well... awkward after a bit.

The Too Much Skin Profile Pic

I am not sure what it is about social networking that brings out the inner tramp in some people, but there are those that love to pose while scantily clad. I've met the sweetest, most seemingly innocent people, and when I go to friend them on Facebook, my jaw drops. Why are some folks out there posing with little or no clothes? What is up with that much cleavage showing? I guess you never know what people are thinking or how they really want to dress until you check out their profile on Facebook, or especially MySpace. Some people have a side you never knew about it and maybe it was better that way.

Now Go Take Some Profile Pics

I hope you've enjoyed this tour through the many types of Facebook profile pics. Maybe you will take a look at some of your own pics after reading this and start to categorize them. You may even find your photos fall into more than one category. That makes you a Facebook Profile Pic Overachiever! So go out there and take some photos!

Facebook Photo Poll

What is your favorite type of Facebook profile pic?

See results


Submit a Comment

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Hahaha, no worries, Wavie. I am just as guilty of the couple photos and I wrote this hub. I should probably use one of my own as an example!

  • Wavie profile image

    Wavie 3 years ago

    A good description of all the types of photos, some of them even I had forgotten about but the poll was written like there was something wrong with every picture. A standard photo is boring, if it's a group photo you're trying to pass yourself off as popular, if it's angled you must have some ugly spots that you wanted to cover up etc. And I don't get what people have against couple photos. Maybe someone took a picture of them and they liked it and wanted to use it for a profile photo. It isn't bragging about being in a relationship. And no I have never been in a relationship so I'm not trying to defend myself. But I think they're cute.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks for your comment. I like to get creative for Facebook, but I usually don't take it too far. After all, who has that kind of free time to focus on Facebook all day?

  • AvineshP profile image

    Avinesh Prahladi 4 years ago from Chandigarh

    Well, I personally think that one should upload their original pic on FB. But, to add fun element, there is no harm in experimenting with your own image, like making use of various image editing software or apps.

    Looking forward to read such interesting hubs.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    The couple photos can be annoying, but I will admit I do it myself at times. Sometimes a person just likes a photo a lot and it would be rude to cute the partner out of it. ;-) I think everyone looks at exes photos every now and then, but it is best not to dwell on it. A lot of those "happy" couples are not that happy after all. Thanks for checking out my hub!

  • profile image

    chrisinuae 4 years ago

    yes, couples pics..i'm my own worst enemy as I creep my ex's girlfriends Facebook, just to see which new profile pic of the two of them she'll have up. They are always standing the exact same pose, and it's where they've traveleed too, it hurts me, but i also think, why put a couples pic up ALL the time, that's for anyone. Even many married couple have their own individual pic. I figure insecurity in the relationship ;)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    You are very welcome. Thanks for the comment!

  • htodd profile image

    htodd 6 years ago from United States

    Great to know about it ..Thanks

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    That is a bummer that you can't upload a pic. I did not realize the screen-reader is not compatible with that function on Facebook. In all honesty, I am starting to think that is the best way to be on Facebook. Too much information is floating around out there! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the comment.

  • VendettaVixen profile image

    VendettaVixen 6 years ago from Ireland

    Great concept and even better hub. This was really creative and entertaining.

    I'd just like to point out though, I have no bio pic on my facebook page, and it's because I use a screen-reader, as I'm blind. The reader is compatible with some things on the internet, and with others it isn't. Facebook's download tool is one of the things that's incompatible with it. It's not that I'm a creepy stalker or paranoid about having my photo on the internet, it's that I can't get it on the internet.

    Voted up, shared, and funny.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, this is true. You are like a powerful God ruling over your Facebook page and photos. Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment.

  • Shaddie profile image

    Shaddie 6 years ago from Washington state

    My profile picture is currently one of my leaf bugs. I honestly do not care if my friends want to see my face, I certainly don't want to see my face and that's what matters. My Facebook is my Facebook, not anyone else's, and I shall implement and express the power I have over my little piece of the Internet by posting whatever-the-F I want as my picture.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    It is OK - we are all guilty of certain types of profile pics. I think the scantily clad pics happen more often if a person is single, their Facebook profile is public, and they are trying to hook up with someone. At least, that is my theory. :-)

    Thanks for the comment. Love your Hubpages profile pic, by the way!

  • profile image

    fluttershy 6 years ago

    Alright, I'll admit that I'm guilty of the couple profile pic a bit too often -- but usually because my fiancé is the only person I hang around with!

    Although I must say I've never really noticed the scantily-clad phenomenon, but the more I think about it, the more I realize you're absolutely right!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    This is true. Some people change their photo all the time. I will admit, I usually change the photo a lot in October since I have a bunch of Halloween photos, but I try not to do it so much anymore. Thanks for the comment!

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 6 years ago from Iowa

    This is great. Yes, I'm guilty of some of these (including my current HP profile, which I guess is in the things I like category), but my current Facebook profile is pretty much standard. How about the constantly changing profile pic? We all swap out our photos from time to time, but what about the people who seem to change their profile picture as often as they change their underwear?

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I think maybe the "couple profle" might have to be added. I've had a couple of people comment about that being the most annoying profile pic. It is true - they are kind of rubbing it in about their new boyfriend or husband. Thanks for the vote and the recommendation.

  • nycgrl profile image

    Veronica 6 years ago from New York

    Hahahaha right now I am very guilty of the group pic although usually mine are standard that someone took of me while out on the group outing. You should also mention the standard "couple" or "wedding" pic which are much more annoying than the baby one. I really love the baby ones, I think they're cute and hell you just had a baby, its something to brag about a bit. But I really don't care about your boyfriend/girlfriend - you're my friend not them and yea you got married 2 years ago, the pic of you in the dress is getting a bit tired. I just feel like those people love to really rub it in to the rest of us and usually those friends get "hidden" lol. Great job on this hub, voted up!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Hi Geoffry Vickery - I would say you are going with an action shot. Thanks for the comment.

    Facebook Applications - Thank you for reading. It is good to know the hubs are showing up on bing. Hope to see you again soon!

  • profile image

    Facebook Applications 6 years ago

    Nice post Amazing, I found your site on Bing looking around for something completely unrelated and I really enjoyed your site. I will stop by again to read some more posts.

  • Geoffry Vickery profile image

    Geoffry Vickery 6 years ago

    what category does my fbook pic fall under??

  • Geoffry Vickery profile image

    Geoffry Vickery 6 years ago

    My facebook pic has me playing guitar just like the one you see here

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you both for your comments! I am glad you enjoyed the hub.

  • Ranzi profile image

    Cut The Bullshit 6 years ago from All Over

    I'm a lovemedo facebook poser :) nice hub

  • YadiraE profile image

    YadiraE 6 years ago from Puerto Rico

    This is so true!!! I've had a few of these on my profile. Awesome hub!!!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Sean - This is so true! I forgot all about the annoying kissing couple profile pic... or maybe I was just trying to block those from my memory. Good suggestion!

    MAIvesSchemetow - Thanks! Yes, pets are cute, but I am not sure why people use them as a profile pic. My aunt's cat has his own MySpace page, so he does have his pic on that. I know... a little weird, but he is pretty popular.

    NMLady - Wow... that is sad. I am happy to say I know New Mexico is a U.S. state. Hehe... it sounds like there are a lot of pet photo fans out there. I am sure your boxer and cats are really cute.

    Thanks everyone for the comments!

  • NMLady profile image

    NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

    My hub pic/one is of a USA flag because so many Americans think that New Mexico is NOT in the USA. Seriously.

    My Facebook is of my beloved Boxer dog. Sometimes it is of one of the beloved cats....all are parts of my alter-ego. (LOL)

  • MAlvesSchemetow profile image

    MAlvesSchemetow 6 years ago from New Jersey

    Great Hub! I don't get the reason for pet photos either.

  • profile image

    Sean 6 years ago

    you covered them all except the ones where the profile pic shows the person kissing or next to his/her girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband .. as well as family shots :) great article

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks, Simone. The artsy profile pic is always a good choice. Of course, I stick to the avatar profile pic on Hubpages most of the time. Thanks for reading and for the comment!

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

    Love this Jeannieinabottle! I suppose I've gone for the "artsy" profile image. The awkward angle ones drive me mad!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, I know what you mean. I have to admit a good percentage of my profile photos were taken in the bathroom. The lighting is simply better in there! Also, I usually take a new picture when I change my hair color, which is a lot. I imagine your pink or blue photos are really cute. Thanks for reading!

  • pinkydoo profile image

    pinkydoo 6 years ago from New York

    This was so much fun, I didn't want it to end. I'm guilty of the "taking my own pic in the bathroom" sort of profile picture...and the weird photo shopped artsy turning myself pink or blue!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks! Sometimes I have to tough it out and supply my own photos. :-)

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    I thought so and pretty funny and clever too!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you so much! Yes, the "too much skin photos" can get really out of hand. I can't tell you how many times I make a new friend and then go online to find their "secret second life" on Facebook or MySpace. It is crazy! Thanks for the vote up!

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Jeannie, another brilliant hub, you are so creative in your writing!

    I reckon you covered just about all of the profile pics, my favourite is the 'too much skin photo' that gets a bit scarey!

    Thanks for sharing and voted up,

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Matt - Thanks for the comment. I hope I covered all the different types of Facebook pics.

    Suiiki - Hmmm... I am glad you decided to go with a fun photo. I think people feel closer to you when you have a personal photo on Facebook, even though I actually use an "avatar" on my public Facebook page. Uh-oh! I need to add that as a category! I am sure your pet photo was adorable when it was Facebook. Thanks for the comment and the information.

    RealHousewife - Thanks for the compliment. I had to actually use my own photos for this one. Hehe.

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Loved it! I also loved your pictures!

  • Suiiki profile image

    Suiiki 6 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

    I used a pet photo for a while...My old standard pic was outdated and I had gained wuite a bit of weight and was feeling very ugly. I felt that I just couldn't get the right picture that would make me lok nice with my new, rounder frame (And I have always been a big girl so this was a new low for me) After about a month or so, however, my wife took a nice picture of me dorking around on Canada Day with flags in my hair like antennae...and this is my new photo!

    I just thought you'd like to know a possible reason why people might post pet or baby pictures...because they lack the self-confidence in themselves and think, "Oh, but THEY are cute!"

  • mattdigiulio profile image

    mattdigiulio 6 years ago

    I tried coming up with them, but I think you covered it all. I especially like the action shot, good one! Best, Matt

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    This is very true. I suppose the "funny profile pic" is also a rather popular one. I should have included that, too. Honestly, I am probably guilty of that one sometimes. Thanks for the comment!

  • Ebower profile image

    Erin Bower 6 years ago from Georgia

    This is so true! We all display our personality in our profile pics. Sometimes I wish people would be more natural on them instead of making 'funny faces' that aren't as cute as one might think. I voted this up and useful!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you for reading and for the comment, Charlotte.

  • Charlotte B Plum profile image

    Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

    what an interesting topic to write about! i really enjoyed it - this is just so creative!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you both for your comments. I've been thinking about this one for a while and finally decided to compile everything together. I am sure I have fallen into most of the categories, too.

  • barbergirl28 profile image

    Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

    I am definitely a facebook pic overachiever. I have used almost all types of these photos (with the exception of extrememly photoshoped) on my page at least one time or another. This was a very creative piece. Absolutely loved it!

  • profile image

    Husky1970 6 years ago

    I think you have covered just about all the bases in this hub. Enjoyed your perspective and categories.


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