Does the paranoia of your Facebook profile picture being used hit you sometimes? Well, apparently, that is going to become a non-issue in your life as Facebook is slowly rolling two new features called “profile picture guard” and “profile picture design” for users in India. You must have already seen some of your Facebook friends updating their ‘protected’ profile pictures but in case you haven’t, this is what it looks like.


Facebook published a blog post on Wednesday explaining the features and why they have decided to roll them out, especially for Indian users. It reads:

In India, we’ve heard that people want more control over their profile pictures, and we’ve been working over the past year to understand how we can help. Today, we are piloting new tools that give people in India more control over who can download and share their profile pictures. In addition, we’re exploring ways people can more easily add designs to profile pictures, which our research has shown helpful in deterring misuse. Based on what we learn from our experience in India, we hope to expand to other countries soon.

According to Facebook, women in India didn’t share profile pictures with faces because they were concerned they might be misused. The shield they are providing shall stop people from misusing somebody’s profile picture in the following way:

• Other people will no longer be able to download, share or send your profile picture in a message on Facebook

This feature is currently only available for Android users. And apparently, if you try and take a screenshot of someone whose profile picture is protected, you will ideally not be able to take and this is what it will say.

b’Source: ScoopWhoop’

But, on a personal basis, we asked a couple of people to try and take screenshots and it happened pretty effortlessly. So much for protection! 

According to Facebook’s research, they found that if a profile picture has a layer of design over it, it was 75% less likely to be copied and users can now bask in 6 design overlays (which, to be honest, look kinda terrible). This is what it’ll look like.


So the question is, does this protection really work? Maybe not, but let’s wait and see.