We’re running several Facebook pages at the moment and are increasingly encountering image quality issues with uploads across profiles, both in profile and content uploads. I hope the below helps you if you’ve encountered the same.

Something to be aware of is that Facebook compresses some images pretty aggressively when you upload and display them.

It makes sense–naturally, they want to speed page loads and reduce bandwidth by applying as much compression as they can get away with. I’m not the only one to wish they’d be less aggressive with their compression, but how noticeable it is will depend on whether things like the range of colors in your image and amount of detail in your photo.

In the past, we could see that JPG compression is far more noticeable in the montage / PNG version. I set the quality and sharpening settings the same for each in the originals before they were uploaded. Some users have reported that images with lots of reds and oranges seem to show the effects of the compression more than ones with blues and greens, but it depends on the actual image. We notice that Sierra Six pink and orange pixelates more prominently than our earthy clients colours.

It also seems to depend on what kind of image you’re displaying. Photo gallery images seem to have less compression applied in displaying than do design elements like the cover photo and profile picture.

There are some things you can do in prepping the images before uploading that can help reduce the chances that your image will come out looking crappy.

Upload images that are 99KB or less in filesize. Facebook should leave images less than that untouched, which gives you control over how the compression is applied.

Upload images that don’t have a lot of compression already applied. For JPGs, for example, try keeping the quality setting at 80 or above–Facebook is going to compress it again anyway. If you’re using software that factors in colorspace (like Lightroom or Photoshop), use sRGB colorspace. And uploading images that are already resized to close to or at the target display size and not overly sharpened seems to work well.