Photo Improvements to Facebook, is it enough?

Facebook's blog announced the top social media site is rolling out a series of cool improvements to their photo features, however, I wonder if it will be enough to really compete with Flickr.  And if the improvements are going to be  the correct ones to get professional photographers over there to use the system.

Though I do think the images look nice and for sharing photos with friends, folks will be happy:

Of course, I like to think about how it can help on a business level.  I know there are advantages to having photos on my own Facebook biz page, though the ones up there right now are mainly my portfolio of websites.

But which biz can this effect the greatest?  Professional photographers.

It seems many professional photographers currently use Flickr, to gain more exposure for their images.  Dave Taylor of noted in his SEO class, at Boulder Digital Arts, that many photographers use Flickr for links back to their own site, in addition to having folks stumble onto their work hosted by Flickr.  Since Flickr is considered an authority site on the subject of images, it makes sense that a link back to a photographer's site would be worth a lot.  So it is a good idea.

Likewise, Facebook does weigh heavy as an authority site.  With 500 million users around the world loading pictures all the time, they are already one of the world’s largest photo-sharing sites.  However, is Facebook implementing the correct toolset to meet the needs of the photographers?

The list of features includes:

  • High Quality Images (high resolution or high res) – it used to be the images couldn't be over 720 pixels (which is usually fine for viewing on the web). Now they are allowing up to 2048, which they state is for the viewing experience, but is really for the next item on the list – downloads
  • Download of Print Quality images – You can now find a picture on someone's Facebook profile or page and download it to your computer.  If it is at the higher resolution, you can get a beautiful print of it!

Downside: It doesn't state how you can turn off the allow for downloads – so if you are a professional photographer, it could be a problem having folks download your work.  It leaves a lot of copyright questions open

  • Better Viewer – they have installed what is referred to as a Light Box (basically, your page content gets grayed out and a black frame appears around your image).  This makes looking at the pictures the focus, as the rest of your screen is set back behind the light box.
  • Simpler Uploader – they state the new uploader will be easier to use for bulk uploads, but also note that it may take longer if you are uploading the high res images
  • Bulk Tagging – in one article it sounded like they have added a face-recognition software to allow the system to recognize the faces in pictures, but it also makes note of adding tags through thumbnails, as a bulk option.  So, not clear yet on that feature.

Professionally, I still wish my Facebook biz page would allow me to go onto someone's page or profile and make a comment under my biz name.  If I want to comment on a photo, it has to be from my personal profile page. So if a client adds pictures from an event, for instance, I would have to comment from my personal account.  And, I'd rather do it from my biz account, as that is the one I want them to then follow!

Though there are some interesting new features, I wish they'd work on some old issues about the overall system, first.  And, I am curious about the whole copyright issue of having these high quality images available for instant download.

What about you?  Are you excited about the new photo features in Facebook?  Will you use them on your biz page or are you more interested in them for personal use?

If you are using images on your biz page, will the new toolsets encourage you to come up with some cool downloads of image based materials?  If so, please share a link to what you create!

Here are links to some of the articles I read on this subject:
Mashable: Facebook Upgrades Photos: Look Out, Flickr

Huffington Post: Facebook Updates Photos: High-Res Uploading, Bulk Tagging, Lightbox Viewing (PICTURES)

Facebook Blog: More Beautiful Photos Facebook Allows High Resolution Photos, Bulk Tagging, and Makes More Improvements to Photos

2 comments on “Photo Improvements to Facebook, is it enough?

  1. It looks good. But the main problem with Facebook is the user agreement, which gives FB all rights to your content. So they have the right to do anything they want with anything you put there. Photos, or anything else. And that stinks! I would never put anything on Facebook that I might want to sell later.

    • Yes, Sue, the Facebook user agreement is…Controversial…to say the least. I’ve read through it and, though it keeps changing, I do think they are just trying to protect themselves (not to stick up for them, though). For instance, if they use a screen shot of some status updates, in an ad, and your image is in it, they don’t want to get sued. But I don’t believe they want to have rights to your work. Still, like you said, why risk it, if it is something you want to sell later. However, there are always pieces of work that you do, that don’t get used, but might be fun to see (in your case, the beginning sketches for the book cover you went with, to show a progression, might be fun!). Thanks for the comment!

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