Facebook brings cover photo design to ‘hover cards’ that appear when users mouse over page links

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By Jonathan Espinosa Comments

Facebook has redesigned its so-called “hover cards” which appear when users mouse over the names of users and pages that have upgraded to Timeline.

These hover cards now display a user’s or page’s cover photo, in addition to profile pictures. Pages associated with places have a slightly different format. In place of the profile image, there is a map thumbnail that directs users to a full Bing map when clicked.

The new eye-catching design could encourage users to click Like on pages they see in News Feed or elsewhere on the site. Hover cards allow users to learn more about and interact with items in their feeds without opening a new tab or navigating away from the page. Page owners should now consider how their cover photo appears at a smaller size. It’s also worth noting that a page’s name and info appears as a layer on top of the cover photo, which might be difficult to read on some cover photo designs.

For pages associated with places, the inclusion of Bing maps could be helpful for local places of business. However, there is now a noticeable lack of logo for users to associate with a brand or trademark, which could be problematic. This can possibly be remedied by including a logo inside of the cover photo to help identify the card and page.

Used strategically, hover cards could lead to more new page Likes with a single click. The number of Likes gained “on hover” are measured in page insights, as seen in the graph below.

The previous hover card design, which still appears for users who have not converted their profiles to Timeline, can be seen below. Facebook first rolled out hover cards in 2010, inspired by Twitter. Interestingly, Twitter no longer uses this feature.