It’s 1pm…Do you know where your cover photo is?

If you haven’t visited your own Facebook profile page lately, you should know that there is a chance it’s no longer there.

For reasons that are, as yet, unspecified, it seems that Facebook has begun a bit of a social sting operation focused on ensuring that users and brands are following Facebook Cover Photo terms of service more reliably.

Terms of service, you ask? If this is the first you’re hearing of the guidelines for Facebook Cover Photos, you’re not alone. Individuals are less likely to be aware of things like Terms of Service than a brand would be for their Facebook business page, since legal liability is not really a chief concern when updating personal profiles. However, the rules are universal, regardless of the type of page you have.

Your cover photos should NOT include:

– Price or purchase information, such as sales and special offers.
– Contact details like your website or address – this belongs in your “About” section.
– References to Facebook features including Like and Share buttons
– Calls to action like “Get it now!” or “Tell your friends”

It’s apparent how, though, that these are not the only infractions that could get your cover photo nixed by Facebook right now. People who have had their photos removed recently report seeing the following message:

Pick a unique photo from your life to feature at the top of your timeline. Note: This space is not meant for banner ads or other promotions. Please don’t use content that is commercial, promotional, copyright-infringing or already in use on other people’s covers.

So it seems that someone at Facebook feels that people still aren’t “getting it” when it comes to their vision for timeline cover photos. Sorry, Facebook…we promise we’ll all catch on eventually.

What can you do? Have a look at your cover photo with both the official terms of service and the informal advice above in mind.

And if your photo is removed, don’t panic – it has not been deleted, it’s just been removed from the cover photo space on your timeline. You can try re-posting it if you feel it was removed in error, or choose something else to avoid further issues. Either way, make sure you come back and tell us about it in the comments below!

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