Facebook Timeline Photos Redesign Lets You Blow Up Favorites 4X Larger, Shows Tagged Shots First

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Facebook is taking photo curation to next level. You can now favorite your own photos to make them appear 4X larger in a revamped Photos section of your profile. The redesign that rolls out over the next few days also sees a much better navigation system that first brings you to “photos of you” or whomever’s profile you’re on, instead of a list of albums.

The update doesn’t automatically feature the most beloved photos on your Timeline based on Likes and comments, the way Google+ now does in its news feed on tablet. Still, it digitizes a natural behavior of how we interact with photos in the physical world — making big prints of our favorites.

Today’s redesign brings the Facebook profile’s photos section closer to the layout from before Timeline. Since Timeline launched, when you clicked through to see photos, Facebook forced you to choose between a huge set of albums and buried tagged photos at the bottom of the page. Now the photos section accessible via the “Photos” tile beneath the Timeline cover is sensibly broken into three tabs:

  • “Photos of You” or “Photos of [Friend’s Name]” – this is the default view
  • “Photos” that someone has uploaded individually but aren’t tagged in
  • “Albums”

Considering you’re usually most interested in tagged photos of friends, especially when you first become friends with someone, the redesign gives you access to the most relevant content first.

To make sure friends see the photos where you look the best or where you exhibit your photographer skills, you can hover over a photo and click “highlight” to instantly boost it to four times the size in a pretty snazzy little animation. Facebook already had this feature for your Timeline posts including, but enlarging a status update or link isn’t nearly as useful and the feature is a better fit for the dedicated photos section.

There’s no automatic curation by Likes, comments, and clicks, which Facebook could surely do. In fact, Facebook already does this in the news feed, enlarged the most engaging shot when you share a couple photos at once.

An option to let Facebook handle highlighting and have me approve its picks could be great for helping / squeezing more clicks out of friends of those less keen on curation. For now though, you should take a quick flip through your old photos and star the best ones. No need to give those double chins as much space as your best smiles.

Want to know what Facebook’s going to do next? Get the scoop straight from the company’s leaders by attending our Facebook Ecosystem CrunchUp this Friday.