A 2012 article proposed a smarter version of Facebook Shared Albums

this study totally called facebooks shared photo albums and has some ideas to improve them polaroids

This week Facebook quietly rolled out Shared Albums, which lets you co-create massive galleries with your friends. The idea is that all those collective pictures from birthdays, trips, weddings, parties, etc that get spread out between the bunch of you will now have one home. The album’s max photo limit? 10,000 photos. Talk about comprehensive. 

It’s a smart feature for Facebook to roll out, especially considering that more than a couple third party apps had solutions out there to fill the void. So why the wait? All Facebook told us was that the update came after a hackathon earlier this year and that it was a popular user request. 

Apparently, these researchers knew things were heading in Shared Albums direction – and maybe even have a few upgrades that could improve it. An article titled Analyzing Facebook features to support event detection for photo-based Facebook applications was published in 2012 at a German University and basically hits the sharing albums nail on the head. 

“Until now there is no easy way to detect and link photos that are related to the same events, which are usually distributed between between friends and albums. In this work, we introduce an approach that exploits Facebook feature to link photos related to the same event.” 

Sound familiar? The article, however, goes on to suggest methods for taking things up a notch: 

“In the current situation where the EXIF header of photos is missing in Facebook, we extract visual-based, tagged areas-based, friendship-based and structure-based features. We evaluate each of these features and use the results in our approach. We introduce and evaluate a semi-supervised probabilistic approach that takes into account the evaluation of these features.”

So basically, instead of having to request people get in on the album sharing business and manually upload the photos from whatever fun group activity you guys did not invite me to, this proposed system would analyze data points like what the photos looked like, if they were location tags, and if similar people were in them. It sound as if a shared album would just be auto-created if you and you’re friends all uploaded images from the same event because the service could tell that the place was the same, the people were the same, etc. Given that Facebook is expanding it’s already massive facial recognition database, it certainly seems possible. 

And sure, while Facebook pre-determining these elements means things could be hit or miss (we’ve all seen the social network pull a drunken, “Is this you?” face tag request indicating it thinks you’re an elbow), it’s also intriguing. Imagine seeing a photo album of your hiking trip, full of everyone’s photos, the minute those images are uploaded. 

Maybe these features will be added to Shared Albums in the future? “In this approach we create a look-up table of the initialization values of our model variables and make it available for other Facebook applications or researchers to use. The evaluation of our approach showed promising results.”

Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Photography

Get your Sagan on with 60 awe-inspiring photos of the final frontier

Few things instill a sense of wonder quite like the final frontier. The best space photos show off the beauty of Earth, our solar system, and the far corners of the universe. Here are our current favorites.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."