On Monday, Facebook introduced a new feature, allowing its users to collaborate on shared online photo albums at the leading social network.
Facebook confirmed the arrival of the feature and provided the following statement:
“Hundreds of millions of photos are uploaded onto Facebook each day and today, we’re making it even easier for friends to share photos with the roll-out of Shared Photo Albums.
“Whether you’re at a wedding, birthday party, or fresh off of a trip, all your friends will be able to add photos, tag photos and edit just one album.”
Previously, Facebook members could only add photos to their own online albums at the social network. With the new feature people can create shared album and add up to 50 other people who have been to the same event.
One person can upload close to 200 photos for a maximum of 10,000 images in a single shared album. Album creators can choose a setting that allows contributors to invite others to the album, or retain total control over album invitations.
Users can also tag, edit or give captions to the photos they add while the album’s creator can decide on the visibility and privacy settings.
There are three possible privacy settings: public, friends of contributors and contributors only. Thus album creator can control who has access to the group’s images, said Bob Baldwin, the software engineer at Facebook who spearheaded the project with colleague Fred Zhao.
“Right now, if you were at a party and there were three different albums created, you might not be able to see all the photos [based on privacy settings], which is kind of confusing and frustrating,” Baldwin said.
Also original album owners will have power to delete or modify photos in the album, but contributors will have editing power over photos that they upload. The feature is not available for Page albums, says a Facebook spokesperson.
The new feature, inspired by feedback from Facebook users, is intended to let friends or family members collaborate on photo albums memorializing shared events or occasions. Such album will be especially useful for group events like camping trips, weddings, parties and family reunions.
The shared album feature began rolling out to a small group of users in English-language countries on Monday. Gradually the feature will expand to all users.
“I think one thing that’s really fun about creating products at Facebook is that you’re never quite sure how people will use the product in the end,” Baldwin told Mashable. “We’re really excited for launch because we think people will use [shared albums] in ways that we’re not even thinking of.”
In many social circles, Facebook has become the de facto place for uploading pictures from events and outings. In fact, it’s surprising that it took this long for shared albums to arrive.
The Next Web writes that photos have been a key interest for Facebook in recent weeks. The company recently partnered with Shutterstock to help advertisers include visuals in their ads. It also introduced new photo uploading support to its Pages Manager app for iOS and Android last week.