how to customize app images | new facebook pages timeline


2015 UPDATE: Since the writing of this blog post there have been several updates to the Facebook page design. The tab app “boxes” are now located on the left hand side of your page and not displayed underneath the cover photo. All the other instructions, below, are still valid and creating a custom image for your Apps is very easy to do. Any questions about this or other social media marketing strategies can be directed to me on Facebook at


Now that the default landing tab is gone and all tabs are now “views and apps” according to Facebook, brands have an opportunity to customize the image that invites a fan to engage with a custom app.

Custom images for Apps Are the New Advertising on Facebook Fan Pages

There are four boxes “above the fold” on the new Facebook Fan Page Timeline. The first position is occupied by the Photos app. This box position is permanent and cannot be moved to another position. The next three boxes to the right of photos can be moved, customized and featured at will, IF you created the app (or former tab). If it is one of the suite of apps created by Facebook, you cannot change the image. If the app was created by a third party, the option to change the image is controlled by the third party app and you should check with them. But if you created the app, you can change the image.

Step-by-step guide to customizing the app image on your Facebook Fan Page wall.

  1. Make sure you have enabled the preview of Timeline on your Facebook page by clicking the blue “preview” you will see at the top of every fan page that has not yet migrated to Timeline.
  2. Click the down arrow at the right hand side of the currently visible apps just underneath your page name and cover photo space to reveal all of your former tabs, now referred to as “views and apps” in Facebook language.
  3. Select the app you would like to customize and mouse over the upper right hand corner to reveal a pencil. Click the pencil to reveal a drop down menu.
  4. Go all the way to the bottom of the drop down menu and click on “edit settings.”
  5. You’ll now see a box that allows you to name the app and a link to change the custom image. After keying in the new name of your app, click on the “Change” link.
  6. You’ll be taken to a page where you can upload a custom image. Click on the “Change” link on this page.
  7. The familiar “Browse” option will pop onto the screen allowing you to upload an image from your desktop. Facebook recommends 111 px wide by 74 px high and will resize and convert images that are larger. I’ve had great luck with 280 x 180 sized images. Select the desired image from your computer and upload. There is no save button. Don’t waste time looking for it. Now go back to your page and look at the box image. The customized image is in place.

That’s all there is to it. You can change these images whenever you like and you can feature a new set of custom apps “above the fold” on Facebook Fan Pages whenever you like.

You can post a link directly to your custom app in your timeline and pin it to the top of your page for seven days to give it extra importance. I’ve created some simple custom designs for apps here to show you what’s possible. I’d love to see yours, too, so feel free to post a link to your custom apps below so we can inspire one another.

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17 Responses to “How to Customize App Images | New Facebook Pages Timeline”

  1. mark kaplan says:

    What software do you use to create the info graphics or the word boxes for quotes, short impact messages, images, etc?

  2. Mark, I use PrintShop, a program so simple that I was able to figure it out without training. I’ve also used powerpoint, created a slide, taken a screenshot of it and cropped it in iphoto.

  3. Angie says:

    Can the photo tab not be edited for a custom graphic? It’s currently pulling a picture that is cutoff and not something that is a good representation of us.. When I hover over it, it does not give me a pencil like the others do.. Help?

  4. Angie, The photo tab will always pull in the last photo you’ve uploaded. Facebook doesn’t give us the option, at this time, to choose one photo as the cover photo of that app.

  5. Mark Evans says:

    Beautifully designed website Cindy! Love the clean look and easy navigation.

  6. Cheryl says:

    Hi Cindy,,,I have been testing and re testing these images for the Tabs Icons and I wanted the Photos Tab to be like the rest. You are right that every time you post a picture it changes. But if your really wanting it to look the same this is what I have found that works. Make the image size it correctly> Upload it>TAG IT AS YOUR PAGE>it should be showing now. But then you post another picture so what do you do? You delete it and do it again. I know its alot of work but it will work.

  7. Donna says:

    I’m assuming you can’t change the thumbnail image for LIKES or NOTES as well?

  8. Berry says:

    Can I arrange the order the photo tabs are displayed?

  9. Correct, Donna. The official Facebook apps such as Likes, Notes and Photos are not customizable.

  10. Berry, I haven’t found a way to rearrange the order of the photos tab yet. I’ll keep my ears and eyes open and report back if this feature becomes possible.

  11. Thanks Mark. I like a clean look and easy navigation.

  12. Julie says:

    Can I create new apps under the new Facebook timeline? I keep running into dead ends.

  13. Yes, Julie. You can create new apps in iframes and add them to your Facebook business page. They’ll appear as boxes under your cover photo and you can customize the look of the boxes of any tabs you create. You can use a do it yourself service such as or several others or you can hire a Facebook pro to do it for you like Custom Fan Page Designs.

  14. Very nice, Steve. I see you’re using ShortStack to build your Facebook apps. I haven’t used them yet. How do you like them? Easy to use? Affordable?

  15. Bobbie says:

    I’ve had problems trying to change the photo on my Static FBML tab (my former welcome landing page). Is that not supported? Has anyone had luck using a custom photo on this tab? Thanks!

  16. I’ve been able to customize mine so far, Bobbie, but I have heard from some developer friends that Facebook may stop supporting our FBML tabs sometime early this summer, so I’m exploring other options.

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