Facebook Photos is receiving a makeover. Improvements include hi-res photos, photo-download links, bulk tagging options and an elegant lightbox interface for viewing images from anywhere on the site. These upgrades will more than likely help Facebook Photos compete with Flickr. Flickr has had the advantage over Facebook for quite some time, due to the fact that Facebook photos were best for capturing memories of places, people and events through small images and mobile snapshots. With the changes, Facebook Photos will more than likely attract photographers, models, graphic design portfolios and others that want to display their portfolios to the world.
Photos will be uploaded and downloaded in sizes up to 2048 pixels wide or high, compared to the current 720 pixels that larger photos get resized to. Each photo will now also have a link to download the Hi-Res JPEG files.
The site’s new bulk tagging options will allow the uploading individual to temporarily group images and tag friends by simply clicking on thumbnails.
The lightbox user interface will now be displayed anywhere on Facebook you clock an image. In your News Feed, in an album, on your friend’s Wall. A hovering black box displays the photo with minimal navigation controls and relevant social features.
Now, while this is an upgrade from the current Facebook Photos, a few questions come to my mind. With the hi-res photos being uploaded and displayed, the download capability and the amount of new users this might attract, will Facebook servers be able to handle it? Will it strain the servers and slow down the speed of the sometimes already slow site?
We also hope that there is a privacy setting where you can prevent your pictures from being downloaded. Will we as users be able to opt-in or out of the hi-res upload and download feature?