Facebook Tests College Football Frames for Profile Pictures

College football season is heating up, and Facebook is giving fans of select teams a way to add custom frames to their profile pictures in support of their squads.

College football season is heating up, and Facebook is giving fans of select teams a way to add custom frames to their profile pictures in support of their squads.

The feature is currently available for fans of the following teams:

  • University of Florida
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Nebraska
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Texas

Representatives from those schools worked with the Facebook product team to design custom frames, which function as temporary profile pictures, reverting back to users’ previous profile pictures at a specified time.

Facebook provided instructions on how to use the new feature in an email to SocialTimes:

  • Go to the Facebook page for your favorite participating college football team.
  • There will be a post on their page with an example of their custom team profile picture frame. At the bottom of that post, tap on the “Try It” button next to the prompt that says, “Decorate your profile picture like this to support your team.” You can also “Try It” from friends’ posts if they used the feature.

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  • Your device will then open up your selfie cam where you can take a new photo or choose from existing ones. Then just overlay the frame on the photo, and select how long you’d like the frame to be present before it expires—you can choose from pre-populated options like one day or one week, or customize it to a specific time (for example, after this weekend’s game ends). At the end of the specified time period, your profile picture will silently revert back to the no-frame version without creating a News Feed story. Is your support for your team unwavering? You can also select the “Never” expiration option to leave the frame on your profile picture indefinitely, until you decide to update your entire profile picture again.

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Florida was the first school to begin testing the new feature, and Florida Gators social media manager Bruce Floyd said in a statement released by Facebook:

When Facebook approached us to create custom profile photo frames for our fans, we were thrilled to be the first in the country to try it. Gators love sharing their orange-and-blue passion, and these Facebook frames were the perfect vehicle to do so. Overall, the experience was terrific. Tens of thousands of fans added the Gators logo to their own profile photos, and that led to millions of impressions across Facebook.

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Miami Hurricanes assistant director of digital strategy Tim Brogdon added:

We couldn’t be happier that Facebook chose the Miami Hurricanes to work with on such a cool project. It’s been a great experience as we’ve worked to launch this tool during one of the best rivalry weeks in all of sports. We’ve seen unbelievable excitement and buzz on social from our fans who’ve adopted the temporary U overlay to show off their Canes pride while getting ready for the game on Saturday.

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And Oregon Ducks assistant athletic director, athletic communications Andy McNamara said:

We’re ecstatic to partner with Facebook on this initiative to provide our fans with such a unique and personal way to demonstrate their passion for the Ducks.

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College football fans: What do you think of this new feature? Would you like to see it extended to your alma mater or favorite team?

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david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.