Sunday, October 20, 2013

Use your YouTube channel art as your Google+ Page cover photo

Update 11/13/13: Google+ has updated the look of the Profile or Page cover image, so that now the entire image is displayed when you view a profile on a desktop computer. The article is in the process of being updated with new screenshots.

When you link your YouTube channel to a Google+ Profile or Google+ Page, you may want to give your channel and Google+ presence a similar look. Just as you can use your YouTube channel icon as your Google+ profile photo, you can replace the default Google+ cover photo with your YouTube channel's banner image.

What to consider:

What are the Google+ cover photo requirements?

Your Google+ cover photo must be at least 480 pixels wide by 270 pixels tall, and it can be as large as 2120 x 1192 pixels. It is recommended that your image be at least 1080 x 608 pixels.

YouTube channel art must be at least 2048 x 1152 pixels and the recommended size is 2560 x 1440 pixels (file size up to 2MB).

So while your YouTube channel art will certainly be large enough to use as a Google+ cover photo, if you are using an image that is the recommended size for YouTube it may be too large to use as a Google+ banner without either cropping or scaling your image first.

Complicating things further, Google+ and YouTube cover images may be cropped and positioned a bit differently on different devices and when viewed under different circumstances (such as your profile page and hovercard).

So even if you are perfectly happy with your YouTube channel's banner, you may want to modify it so that it looks just as good on Google+. Here are some guides to to get you started:

Where can I find my YouTube channel art if I no longer have the original image file?

If you no longer have a copy of the file you used for your YouTube channel's cover art you can either find a copy in your Google+ Photos or Picasa web albums or you can download the copy stored by YouTube to upload to Google+.

If you already have a Google+ account, your YouTube channel art image should be uploaded to an album in your Google+ Photos ( titled with the date you uploaded the image. If you do not yet have a Google+ account, your channel art image should be stored in a Picasa web album ( instead. Note that as soon as you create a Google+ account, your Picasa web albums are converted into Google+ Photo albums.

If you can find your YouTube channel art in your Google+ Photos you can add the image directly as your personal Google+ Profile cover photo by selecting the image from your Albums during the cover photo addition process.

If you are adding a cover photo to a Google+ Page, rather than a Google+ Profile, you will have to first download your YouTube channel's cover art image from your Google+ Photo album, then upload it as your Page's cover photo.

To download your channel art from Google+ Photos, either select your image or click to enlarge the image, then select the "Download" option from the "More" menu:

But what if your YouTube channel art is missing from your online photo albums?

If you cannot find your channel art image in your Google+ Photos or Picasa web albums, all is not lost. You can download the copy stored by YouTube instead. Note that YouTube's copy may be cropped or smaller than your original image.

The first thing you need to do is find your YouTube channel user ID. You can find that information on your channel's advanced settings page (

YouTube stores a different file for the mobile, tablet, TV and desktop versions of your channel art. The largest version is the one used for display on TVs. You can find your TV channel art image at this link:

The bold red portion should be replaced with your own YouTube channel's user ID.

Paste the link to your YouTube cover art in your web browser's address bar and load the image. You can then save it to your computer to upload to Google+.

More information on finding your YouTube channel art:

How to upload a cover photo a to a Google+ Page

Uploading a cover photo to a Google+ Page involves a few more steps than uploading an image to your Google+ Profile, but the process is effectively the same:

Sign into your Google+ Page and choose to "change cover"

You can easily navigate directly from your YouTube channel to the linked Google+ Page.

Just sign into YouTube and click your channel icon in the upper right-hand corner. From the menu click "Page" and that will take you to your Google+ Page directly:

That will take you to your Google+ Page's profile. Just click "Change cover" to add or change your cover photo:

You can also add a cover photo from your Google+ Page's settings overview

If you are signed into Google+ directly, you can go to your Google+ Pages dashboard ( and choose to manage your YouTube channel's Google+ Page:

That will take you to your Google+ Page's settings overview:

Click "Add a cover photo" and you will be walked through the process of adding a cover image:

You can choose a cover photo from the gallery images offered by Google+, from your own photo albums, or upload a new image.

To upload your own image select the "Upload" tab.

You will be able to crop your uploaded image:

 See Mike Blumenthal's tips and Steve Hovnanian's guide* for a better idea of what portion of your image will display on different devices and in different places on Google+. [*Note: the cover image display was updated 11/13/2013 so this guide may no longer be accurate] 

Of course it would be much too easy if YouTube and Google+ cover images were formatted the same way!

Are you sure want to reuse your YouTube channel's cover art on Google+?

Does your YouTube channel art include your channel's title? Google+ cover art isn't necessarily well suited to a banner that includes your YouTube channel title or text, because of the  different ways that Google+ may display your image. Consider using a large photo or graphic on Google+, rather than an image focused on the title of your YouTube channel.

Take a look at how some of the popular YouTube channels have their Google+ Pages set up for an idea of what looks good and what doesn't.

Here's an example where a different banner image is used for YouTube and Google+ that gives you an idea of how the formats compare:

Coca-Cola's YouTube channel

Coca-Cola's YouTube channel hovercard

Coca-Cola's Google+ Page cover photo

Coca-Cola's Google+ Page hovercard

Remember that you can always change your Google+ cover photo if you want to try a new look. 

Posted by Peggy K

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