Written by 5ivecanons Staff
Today (August 26th), Facebook began the slow roll out of a new feature for photos known as ‘shared albums.’ This new feature allows Facebook users to assign up to 50 ‘contributors,’ friends of the user, who can add images to the album, tag photos and change captions.
Currently, the new album functionality is only available to desktop users in the United States, but Facebook says will ‘slowly’ roll out the feature to other regions.
Before the update, sharing albums on Facebook was not possible, and the only way friends could organize photos was by tagging others and using hastags, tools that did not actually create an album. The albums continue to have privacy filters which allow the album creator to determine who can see the images.
The idea of sharing albums is not original to Facebook. Google+ allows users to create events where friends can upload full-resolution images to the site. Photo specific sites such as Hipstamatic and Albumatic also feature shared albums, but require users to have an account or signup for a service – shrinking the user base.
At the moment, Facebook is the largest photo sharing site in the world with users uploading an incredible 2.5 billion photos a month. With this new shared albums integration, the 50 total contributors to an album can upload up to 200 photos each, generating a total of up to 10,000 photos per album. Facebook will undoubtedly keep its first place position for some time.
The new integration, although simple, will undoubtedly change the way users share and upload photos. A newlywed couple for example, simply needs to create an album named ‘our wedding’ and invite her entire guest list to have 10,000 pictures worth of memories. It will be interesting to see how other sites, including Facebook’s own Instagram will follow suit.
Facebook said that it plans to continue expanding its site’s photo functionality and hopes to add new features, such as mobile support and increased photo upload limits. Other interesting ideas could include granting contributors the ability to add other contributors or even open up an album to an entire network. We hope to see event albums, where any individual who was at an event can upload images.
One this is certain, Facebook is making it a whole lot easier to share photos with friends, family and new acquaintances, and we don’t think that will end any time soon.