Facebook Photos Go High-Resolution, Get Batch Tagging

Catering to some 500 million users who upload more than 100 million images each day, Facebook said it is adding high-resolution image support and a new photo upload tool.

Facebook Sept. 30 said its photo software will enable high-resolution images, a better viewer for browsing photos and a new photo upload tool for adding images in batches.

Facebook in April purchased Divvyshot for the expertise of Sam Odio, who as the founder of that startup wrote software to let groups of people upload photos to the Web, share them and edit them.

More so than at Google's Picasa or Yahoo's Flickr, photos are a big deal at Facebook, where more than 100 million photos are added each day.

Many of the social network's 500 million-plus users use the Website to build whole digital photo albums online, adding pictures from computers and mobile phones, storing them for posterity.

As Facebook Photos Product Manager, Odio was tasked with drastically revamping the company's photo software. After adding face detection and photo-tagging in July, Odio has added new perks to improve the service.

Facebook began rolling out free support for print-quality, high-resolution photos, which are geared for larger images.

Odio said he is increasing the size of the photos stored by a factor of 8, from 720 pixels to 2,048 pixels on the largest edge.

To see the quality improvements, Odio invoted users to click on National Geographic's "Top-Rated Your Shot Photos (September)" album or Sports Illustrated's "Football Across America" album and then click the "Download" link.

The new photo viewer opens in the center of a user's computer screen, allowing users to view photos and albums without navigating to a new page or clicking Refresh. Odio said he rewrote all of the viewer code to make navigating through photo Web pages faster.

Odio also rebuilt the Facebook photo uploader with the latest Adobe Flash 10.1 software to make Facebook Photos more reliable. Finally, Odio has added the bulk tagging capabilities he built at Divvyshot to Facebook Photos.

"When people upload a set of photos, they are often of events like weddings and birthday parties where people are with the same group of friends and family," Odio explained.

"With our new uploader, you will be able to tag multiple photos in the same album all at once, as well as tag photos of the same person with a lot less effort."

Don't fret if you don't see the new photo capabilities right away. They will roll out over the course of October.