Facebook brings friend-sourcing to photos with new Shared Photo Albums

facebook debuts shared photo albums via mashable
Now groups of people can create Facebook albums together

Most of Facebook’s recent changes have been modifications that make the site more like Twitter. Hashtags, verified check marks, embedded posts… it seems like Facebook just keeps ripping pages out of Twitter’s book and making play for more public content. 

But a new feature that focuses on photos has Facebook written all over it. 

Facebook announced Shared Albums, which allow users to build photo albums together, collaborating on making a digital collage of memories. Album creators will be able to add up to fifty contributors, and each contributor will be able to upload 200 photos. That means some albums may be way bigger than they were in the past, since single-user photo albums have a 1000 photo limit.

The creator of the album maintains privacy controls, so whoever takes the initiative will be able to decide whether the album is public or available to more select networks of Facebook friends. 

“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 rollout of Shared Photo Albums,” a Facebook spokesperson tells us. “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.” 

“It was really just a product that (as you can imagine) was a very popular user requested feature.” Facebook engineers Bob Baldwin and Fred Zhou, who work with photos, spearheaded the project during a hackathon back in January. 

This is a genuinely helpful feature, and it’s surprising Facebook didn’t debut it a long time ago – it seems similar to how multiple administrators can run events and pages, which makes it easier to get groups of people organized since it allows more than one person to contribute. How many times have you had to ask your friends to send you photos to help fill out an album from an event you were all at? Those days are no more, and crowd-sourced (friend-sourced is more accurate) albums are on the way. 

If you’re just dying to get your friends busy uploading photos of your recent weekend exploits, you will have to withstand a but of a wait. Facebook is rolling the feature out starting today but only to a select group of English-speaking users. It will be available to all users in the near future, though.

Shared albums will make things much easier for people organizing events who try to get everyone to use a hashtag to create an album — now people who go to a wedding or a family reunion can just add their photos to one album all in one go. 

[Photo via Mashable

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