Facebook Profile Refacing: The New Way to Spamvertise

Posted by Mic King on Dec 17, 2010 | 0 Comments

The first great interview on Audible Hype was with Philadelphia “Third Renaissance” man Mic K!ng, formerly known as iCON the Mic King. As we get Audible Hype fired up for a powerful and productive 2011, there’s going to be a lot more guest content…and I’m honored to have Mic K!ng start us off. Enjoy.

This evening while I was attempting to will myself into the Christmas spirit at Best Buy searching for a Pollyana gift for an as yet unnamed co-worker at Razorfish, (inhale) my iPhone signaled five separate times in rapid succession that my good friend Tim Mannle had tagged me in a photo. Now this didn’t strike me as odd because Tim is a photographer and I am a photogenic individual that he has taken a lot of pictures of.

I looked through the pictures using the Facebook App and recognized one of them while the other four looked a little bizarre so I figured there was some sort of zooming issue and I shrugged and went back to searching for a cool gift under $25. But knowing Tim as the sly (and creative) devil that he is, I decided to check out my page when I got home.

Tada!! My friend had stumbled upon a creative spamm…err…branding technique for the new Facebook profiles. These five pictures take up a large amount of screen real estate at the top of my profile and if eye-tracking studies of Google’s Universal Search bar is any indication, this will be the first place people look when they arrive. What this means for musicians is Facebook has unwittingly provided a clever way to customize your page a la MySpace sans the clutter. However as I said, I didn’t post these pictures my friend Tim did, he even sent me a message to say “HAHAHA I HACKED YOUR PAGE!”

And of course mine wasn’t the only one he’d hacked.

Meet Max Heath, vocalist and pianist from Anonymous INC.

Max Heath | Anonymous Inc

On a funnier note, this is another one of our mutual friends, ITF & DMC finalist DJ Cue Two.

DJ Cue Two Facebook Profile Customization

This implementation illustrates how people could potentially abuse this method. There’s certainly nothing in the Facebook Terms of Service to stop someone from posting 5 split up images of a nude woman. If you chop them up correctly no one image would contain nudity. How will Facebook combat this?

So how do you do it? It’s actually very simple and obvious, but I would be remiss to not walk through it anyway. Create your image in your favorite editor (Photoshop), chop it into five pieces, upload the five images and tag your friends in reverse order. Voila! You have now branded your Facebook page and promoted yourself on your friends’ profiles.Â

The branding and advertising applications of this are what are most important — especially for musicians. Possible applications include show, website, and release promotion as well as creative branding. I’m sure graphic design wizards will think of ways to incorporate the white space and profile picture to create something eye-catching.* Think of it as a 5 (potentially 6)-part banner ad that fans can opt to put on their own pages in support. Encourage your fans to tag themselves properly and you now have free banner ads running throughout your Facebook friend network.

As with most things you should use this sparingly but I predict (As usual) people will run rampant with this technique. It will be interesting to see what measures Facebook will take to counteract its usage. Obviously they don’t want to limit people’s photo-tagging abilities too much but they also don’t want to be as spam-ridden as MySpace.

*Apparently since I started this blog the idea hit Telegraph. There are some very cool implementations of this idea by non-musicians. I suggest you take a look.

Telegraph Facebook Customization

Drop me a comment with a link to your new profile after you reface it. I’d love to take a look!

In the meantime I’m going to cross my fingers and hope someone found me a cool gift because mine is damn good.

Happy spamvertising!

-iPullRank aka Mic King fka iCON the Mic King

About the Guest Author

Mic King http://www.iconthemicking.com/

Mic K!ng is more than just the best rapper ever and a purveyor of pure party Cool-Aide — he’s also a serious SEO professional and a veteran coder. If you’ve questions about your business, check him out on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Music by Justin Boland