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Profile picture – should you have just one or multiple?

April 15, 2009

Doug Cornelius has raised an interesting point in his comment to my post about online profile: do you use one picture of yourself throughout all networks or are you expected/allowed to use diverse ones and update them on a frequent basis?

Chris Brogan is known for his ever changing profile picture, and it has become, in a way, a trademark of his. Each day brings a different picture: funny, serious, with maximum zoom or full torso – every day brings a different one. Just like every one of us has different sides to our personality, our online profiles can and should display this wide palette of personality colors.

Many people prefer using the same picture – it caters for immediate, quick and easy recognition of the user by other users, it re-enforces the Personality Brand, just like a logo would.

Using different profile photos also depends on the network and channels you are using. I love changing my Facebook profile picture and do it practically on a weekly basis. Shuffle existing ones and add new ones. With all other networks, where people may not recognize me instantaneously, I tend to use the same picture across the board, so that with a glimpse of an eye my tweets can be recognized in a stream of tweets to others.

Changing your profile picture on a frequent basis keeps your profile fresh and reveals different aspects to yourself to your network. Keeping it the same across the board helps you building your Personality Brand.

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