Be led into the obscure

Facebook Profile Hacks: Social Media Art is here…

Facebook’s new profile page, unveiled in the first week of December, seems to have sparked off creativity and inspired several users into experimental photography and photo-manipulation.

The revamp

“And since there’s often no better way to learn about a person than through photos, the profile now includes a row of recently tagged photos of you,” Josh Wiseman, a Facebook engineer, wrote on the official blog on December 5, explaining the new features on the revamped profile page.

He was commenting specifically on an interesting aspect of the redesign was a row of five recently tagged photos of the user nestled horizontally after the profile picture.

It was incorporated immediately under the basic information, another new feature, described as “a quick overview of basic information such as where you’re from, where you went to school, and where you work—the kinds of conversation starters you share with people you’ve just met or exchange with old friends as you get reacquainted.”

Several other aspects were also introduced such as featured friends to allow users to chose or feature selected friends or family members, as well as the feature enabling users to showcase their interests, hobbies, even projects worked on.

However, it is the addition of the five berths for photographs that seems to have impressed and inspired many to unleash creativity.

‘Creative Uses of New Facebook Profile’

The ‘Creative Uses of the New Facebook Profile’ were brought together by a tech blog called Mashable on Dec 14. Exactly ten days later on Dec 24, the site published second edition to the report ‘More Creative Uses of the New Facebook Profile’ from their readership, who either shared their own profiles or ones they have highlighted as particularly impressive.

These double-ten doses of creativity struck us very interesting as they reflected a distinct sense of photography and precise photo-manipulation.

Mashable identified French artist Alexandre Oudin as the creator of the craze, and reported that these designs were emerging in number.

“People have been playing around with their profile pics since Facebook first launched, but the new redesign allows for some inspired fun including clever animations, typography and photography magic.”

Even though the craze started in one artist’s head, the each of the picked profiles stood on its own. From Oudrin’s depiction of his face in six pictures on his profile page, the experiments took it to newer spaces. A moment between a father and a daughter, the suspension in air with a basket ball reaching out to the ring, playful depiction of rescue from a shark, decorating the Christmas tree – each of the selection was intriguing in its own way.

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We spoke to the people behind the social media art….

“We focus a lot less on how ‘good’ we look and a lot more on what we can do with our surroundings. I think” we’ve come a long way from the “camera and the bathroom mirror shots from the Myspace days.

I hope this is the start of a string of much more creative ways to express oneself on social media! I really think it is, and I think this a great start,” said Luke Kingma, whose basic information reads “Worked at Camp Iroquois Springs (Videographer, Cabin Specialist); Studied Business Administration & Film at University of Pittsburgh; Born on October 22, 1987.”

Luke’s experiment with what has come to be known as “new Facebook profile pic hacks” was him decorating a luminescent Christmas Tree. His profile picture was him with his arm (until his wrist) stretched out. What followed it in the five photo spaces was his arm from wrist on putting an adornment on a whimsical Christmas Tree.

“Since it was so close to Christmas, I just immediately thought of a Christmas tree as being something distinguishable that would be perfect for the row of 5 photos. I wanted to do something really different than the ones I had already seen (didn’t want to just do my face) so I chose a Christmas theme,” he told LexicalPixies.

But this was not his original planned. Revealing what he originally conceptualized, he said, Originally, I wanted the 5 photos to be presents under a tree, then a picture of me reaching for one of them, but when I started photographing my tree, I realized this would be a lot cooler.”

Taking what was inspired by the new profile page layout, Prashish Rajbhandari “wowed” with an entire album hack.

“I don’t really think facebook is changing the way we photograph ourselves or things till now. I reckon only 3 to 5 percent of the facebook users would actually consider to photograph themselves particularly for their facebook page. The rest would just take a photo from their album stock and use it,” he said when asked if Facebook is changing the way we photograph ourselves or things.

We asked both of them about what effects they thought social media was having on photography and arts. Prashish, who is a founder of and admin of a student-created blog aimed at providing information flow with high quality posts, Fortystones, said that these platforms provided grounds to display and appreciate creativity and imagination.

“As you can see many creative facebook pages have been appearing in the last few days. Even the creator of the ‘row of five photos’ in facebook would have been amazed of the creative flow of art or photography by facebook users. Its very early to say if social media is affecting photography or art but yes, we can see the imagination and creativity of people in such a small platform.”

Luke, who essentially works with film, video and photography, thought that social media was bringing art and photography into the mainstream.

“Social media is allowing us to show off our creativity to a much broader audience than before (when we typically are constrained to photo sharing sites or niche audiences on niche websites and venues). It is also allowing us to view ourselves in new ways, and allowing us to show others how creative we really are, not just how creative we say we are in our ‘bios’ or whatever. The more advanced social media gets, the closer we get to really seeing who other people are online. Used in the right ways, I think that can be a very good thing.”

Pixies say:

When we came across these profiles we were struck by the amount of creativity and imagination that is out there. Internet as we know it has been stretching its temptations into almost all aspects of our lives. So art followed. Internet art was first born from the need to escape dominance of the gallery and museum system, delivering aesthetic experiences. It gave artists, big and small, a little space to experiment. With the social media also delivering the same joy, the adventure has just began for those with their heads brimming with ideas.

The Facebook profile experimenters, we believe, have created a new sensibility into aesthetics.

And so Prashish, here is what we have to say about your remark – “I hope to see one day ‘Amazing collection of facebook profile pages'” :  “The day is here and the time is now”.

5 responses

  1. a very well written article! congrats..
    and about my remark, I’m still waiting to see many more wonderful facebook profile pages 😛


    December 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm

  2. Pingback: Facebook Profile Pic Hacks: The artist speaks… « Lexicalpixies

  3. Well, all things considered…

    January 9, 2011 at 3:42 am

  4. gabz

    can u put this page on ur site? 🙂 hahaha

    January 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    • Hi Gabz,

      Thank you for providing the image link, your album art is now included in post’s slide-show 🙂

      January 30, 2011 at 7:11 pm

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