Well the start of October comes with a fresh announcement from Facebook, photos can be up to 8 times larger ! While Facebook may be a great place to share your photos with family and friends, an unfortunate downside is that it crushes your stunning images to a smidge of their original size. The size increase will now allow for photos of up to 720 pixels high and 2048 pixels wide, whichever comes first.
Where this feature will really make the most difference is viewing Facebook photos on large screens. Take the Facebook integration on the Xbox 360 for example, viewing images on a large HDTV will significantly benefit from the higher quality available. The downside is you’ll need to make sure you have a speedy internet connection to deal with all those extra bits.
Also Facebook points out in the uploader that using High Res can take up to 10x longer to upload.
Photo Viewer Improved
A short time ago Facebook made a change to photos that stopped with the pagination madness and allowed full albums to be viewed on one page just by scrolling down. Well now Facebook are taking photo album viewing a step further, adding a lightbox (see below) not only that, but they rewrote the way photos are switched from one to the next. This should result in much faster, more responsive photo viewing.
Another important point in this announcement is a change to how people are tagged in photos. There will now be the ability to tag a person across multiple photos. Very handy when you have that friend that just won’t stop photobombing at birthday parties.
So what does this mean for services like Flickr, Zoomr and Smugmug ? It may impact them slightly, as the higher resolutions offered by those services is definitely a draw card. It is important to remember that Flickr actually stores the original file, so you get the full uncompressed image the way it came off your camera. So there is still quite a difference between Facebook photos and Flickr, but could it just be a matter of time before we no longer need Flickr ?
You can read the full blog post about higher quality photos over at Facebook.