Create a Facebook Cover Video using PowerPoint 2016

A relatively newish feature to Facebook Pages is the ability to add a cover video instead of a static cover photo. A video allows you to tell a more heart-felt story about you or your business or to simply better direct visitors’ attention.

Facebook Cover Video Specifications

According to Facebook, your cover video should be at least 820 pixels wide and 312 pixels tall. But for best results, they suggest uploading a video that is 820 x 462 (And yes, it seems every time I turn around, they have a new “recommended size” so if you see conflicting information on the web it is because the information keeps changing).

As far as the length for your video, it can be anywhere from 20 seconds to 90 seconds long. This recommendation, so far, hasn’t changed. So, your video can’t be shorter than 20 seconds nor can it be over 90 seconds in length.

In addition to the basic specs, your video must also follow Facebook’s Pages Terms. Since the cover video is a cover, it must specifically comply with the covers section of the Page terms (section III. B.), which states that a cover “can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.” In other words, make sure you own the rights to every photo, face, logo, etc. that you use in the video. And be sure to look over those terms, once again, before designing your cover.

Setting up PowerPoint for Your Facebook Cover

The tricky part for most users in PowerPoint is setting up the slide size to accurately reflect the video cover dimensions necessary for the video. To accomplish this, we will need to change our slide size.

To Change the Slide Size:

  1. Navigate to the Design tab on your Ribbon.
  2. In the Customize group, click on Slide Size, and select Custom Slide Size
    change Custom Slide Size
    That will open the Slide Size window where you can now customize the width, height, and orientation of your slides in PowerPoint.
    Slide Size Windows PowerPoint 2016

By default, all widths and heights will be listed in inches (US). Other regions may see other defaults (like cms). In theory, once upon a time, I seem to remember being able to enter sizes in pixels into this box (though I might be remembering wrong); when I tried this though, it only sort of worked. The dimensions were a bit off. I will need to investigate this further (and I will update this article once I know more).


So, we are going to fudge the numbers ourselves.

Roughly, 820 x 312 pixels is about 11.68 x 4.25 cms OR 4.6 x 1.75 inches.

  1. To enter in the width in inches, click inside the width box, and type in “4.6 in” and press tab to move your cursor to the height box. Now enter “1.75 in” and press OK.

A dialog box should appear asking how you would like to scale content to the new dimensions.
Slide Scaling Window
Since we are working with a blank slide, it doesn’t really matter what we select; either Maximize or Ensure Fit will do.

You should have a slide that looks something like this:
New Slide Dimensions

With the slide size set, you are ready to design the look of your video as you would a normal PowerPoint presentation, complete with any animations or morph transitions between slides.
Slides with animations and morph transitions

Exporting Your PowerPoint Facebook Cover as a Video

Once you are finished designing the basic look of your Facebook cover and have animated your text, objects and images, and timed all your slide transitions, ensuring that your presentation runs anywhere between 20 seconds – 90 seconds, you are ready to export your presentation as a video.

  1. Navigate to the File Menu, click on Export, and select Create a Video from the list of Export options.
    Video Export PowerPoint 2016
  2. Under the Create a Video section, you will see other options that you can customize. I chose “HD (720p)” which if you notice shows you frame width/height dimensions that are different than what we set up originally (1440 x 548)—yep, that confused me too. The thing is, choosing a lower quality (standard) won’t give us the “correct dimensions” either.
    strange video dimensions

I spent a lot of time playing around with this. And what worked for my version of PowerPoint (PowerPoint 2016 Version 1801, Build 9001.2080 – Office 365, Insider Builder) was choosing HD.

Facebook accepted my video file, so…we’re going to call it “good enough,” for now. Even though I am not 100% satisfied. Anyway…

  1. After you select HD, you can opt to adjust any slide timings as well (if you spent a lot of time perfecting animations and audio, you will want to use recorded timings). If you like, you may choose to add additional seconds spent on each slide. In my example above, I have chosen 5 seconds per slide.
    Advance Slide settings

So, any slides that are set to advance “on mouse click” will advance after 5 seconds. Any slides that are set to advance “After: xx:xx.xx” a certain amount of time will not be affected by this setting.

  1. After you have adjusted your video settings to your liking, click Create Video to open the Save As window, choose a destination and File Name for you video, and click Save.

The progress of your video will appear in the status bar at the very bottom of your PowerPoint applications window.
Video export progress bar - PowerPoint

Uploading Your Cover Video to Facebook

With your video complete, you are now ready to try and upload your video to Facebook. The first step is to upload the video to your Facebook page.

  1. Navigate to your Facebook page and in the upper left-hand corner of your Facebook cover, you should see an icon that either looks like a photo or video or something else (it changes). Hovering your mouse over the icon, you will see the text appear “Change Cover.”
    Click Upload Photo/Video - Facebook cover video
  2. Choose the option, Upload Photo/Video.
  3. Navigate to where you saved your newly created PowerPoint video, click on the video, and click Open.

The video will begin uploading and you should see a screen that looks something like this.

Facebook cover video uploading progress


  1. After the upload is complete, you will see a preview of your video. The video will not be public just yet. You can drag the video to reposition it.
    reposition you Facebook cover video and click next
  2. If the video does not need repositioning, click next.
  3. On the next screen you can choose whether or not to play the video in a loop, and then click Publish to make your video live.

To see the video I created for this tutorial, check out my Facebook page here.

Frequently Confused Terms: Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Profiles

a.k.a “Help! I can’t find the option to upload a cover video! It’s not there!”

If you are looking to upload your Facebook cover video, and click on the little photo icon in the corner of your profile, but see these options instead…

…then you are looking at your Facebook Profile, rather than a Facebook page. Cover videos, at the time of this posting, can only be uploaded to Facebook Pages.

What’s the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Profile?

Facebook Pages are designed with businesses, professional personas, independent contractors, and celebrities in mind. As a user, this allows people to have to ways to interact socially with the Facebook community–one that is for close friends and family, and one that is more professional. In other words, a Facebook profile is for personal use only. In fact, if you attempt to use a Facebook Profile for professional purposes (e.g. sell or market to individual users through that personal profile),  you will be in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service. So, with that in mind, if you want to conduct business on Facebook, you MUST create a Facebook Page.

In addition to being able to upload a cover video to a Facebook Page, there are other advantages to having a Facebook page for your business self. First off, people who find your business on Facebook only need to “like” your business to follow you. With a Facebook Profile, on the other hand, users must sent an invitation request and be accepted or “friended.” There’s a lot of other reasons to have a Facebook page for your business (analytics, for example).