UPDATE on Thursday, February 10, 2011: We are rolling out the new Photo Viewer to everyone over the course of the next few weeks. Now, you can browse more photos faster without having to lose your place in Facebook. Visit the Help Center to learn more about using the Photo Viewer. Check out our Engineering blog for more technical details about how we designed and engineered the new feature.
Originally Published on Thursday, September 30, 2010:
Photos are one of the things people love to share, and they are often the most meaningful. Sometimes it's snapshots of the ordinary—your new haircut, a homemade cupcake. Sometimes it's bigger, more profound—a high-school graduation, a first tooth, a newborn! Photos often bring us the best news of the day.
When we originally got started on Photos, we only had two people working on it. We didn't build out a lot of features; we just focused on making sure photos were easy to share and this made Photos a great social experience. But we also wanted to give people on Facebook the best quality photo product on the web.
So I'm excited to announce three big improvements to Photos: high resolution images so you can store bigger pictures, a better viewer for browsing photos, and a simpler uploader when you have lots of images. The team has been working hard to get these done, and we'll make these available to everyone over the next month.
Starting today, we will be rolling out support for print-quality, high-resolution photos. And unlike on many other online services, you don't need any kind of premium or paid account.
We're increasing the size of the photos stored from 720 pixels to 2048 pixels on the largest edge, for an 8 times increase overall. I'm really excited to be launching this feature. To see the quality of these pictures, you can view National Geographic's "Top-Rated Your Shot Photos (September)" album or Sports Illustrated's "Football Across America" album. Download high-resolution photos by clicking the "Download" link.
A Better Photo Viewer
The new viewer makes it simpler and faster to navigate photos. You can now view photos and even whole albums without even having to go to a new page. Instead, the photo opens in the center of your screen, and you close it when you're done. There's no need to go back and forth between pages or reload the page.
A new light box (the dark frame around your pictures) makes viewing photos a richer experience. We also rewrote all the code for the viewer from scratch, so paging through photos will be noticeably faster.
Easier Tagging and Uploading
We also wanted to make it easier to tag photos. When people upload a set of photos, they are often of events like weddings and birthday parties where people are with the same group of friends and family. With our new uploader, you will be able to tag multiple photos in the same album all at once, as well as tag photos of the same person with a lot less effort.
Lastly, we've completely rebuilt our photo uploader to be more stable and reliable. It now uses the latest Flash technology, so that your experience getting photos onto Facebook is an easy one—especially when you have lots of them. While this change is mostly behind the scenes, we think you'll notice a big improvement.
All of us on the Photos team at Facebook are excited to make the experience of sharing photos the best on the web. Enjoy.