Facebook launches full-screen, high-resolution photo viewer


Announced on Facebook’s newsroom earlier today, the social network has upgraded the photo viewer application to support a full-screen view up to 2048 by 2048 resolution, the maximum upload size for users. Facebook claims that photos will display up to four times larger than previously seen in the recently added photo overlay for albums. However, the upgraded view will only work in recent versions of Firefox and Chrome. Users can open up the full-screen view by clicking “Fullscreen” in the options menu beneath the photo or clicking the arrow icon at the top right hand corner of the picture to expand the size. 

arrowfinalWhile the previous revision of the photo album viewer brought more prominent ads to the interface, all advertisements disappear when the photo expands to the full-screen view. Users are welcome to browse through entire albums without having to view a single ad placement, but the advertisements do appear on the screen when making a comment on the photo.

The transition to the full-screen photo viewer is likely a response to Google’s full-screen view of photos on Google+, thus professional photographers can take better advantage of the large resolution display on Facebook’s photo albums. In an interview with PCWorld, Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy stated “This is absolutely a defensive move to thwart off any advances that either Instagram or Pinterest will make.”

In a followup post created by Facebook engineer Ryan Mack, the company has also rolled out an updated color profile for improved accuracy. Mack uses an example of a photograph taken inside the Sydney Opera house and shows how the previous color profile skewed the image by making the seats look more red than orange. Facebook representatives haven’t made any indication if the team working on the expanded photo viewer will make the option available for Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple’s Safari Web browser in the future.