Facebook Photo-Viewing Gets Slick
Facebook is rolling out a new photo viewer over the next few weeks that allows users to browse images quickly without losing their place on the site.
The company is making the changes after a series of tests aimed at finding a better photo experience.
"Images were slow to load, and sometimes hung indefinitely. Users were forced to refresh their browsers to view photos and comments," Stefan Parker, a Facebook user interface engineer, wrote in a blog post.
Viewing photos from Facebook's news feed also meant opening multiple tabs or losing your place:
"Not a big deal for the computer-savvy, but not a common practice for a large percentage of our users," Parker said.
The company decided that although the images looked good on black, the caption and comments were often difficult to read, so the new version will have a two-tone layout that's able to fit larger-sized images .
In addition, the right column is now ad-free, freeing up the image to take up extra space, allowing a photo to span the full width of the page.
"By redesigning the photo viewer, users now view over 5 percent more photos , equating to an increase in roughly a billion photo views every day," Parker said.
Reading comments on photos was also previously cumbersome. The former way involved viewing a photo, scrolling down to read the caption and comments and scrolling back up the page and then repeating the process.
Parker said the upgrade should improve upon all these areas and increase engagement around photo views, tags, comments and "likes."
Over 100 million photos are uploaded to Facebook each day, according to the company.