Give Your Index Finger A Rest With Facebook's New Photo Slideshows

Since the dawn of Facebook’s Photos feature, users have been tasked with the not-so-terrible burden of having to manually click through every photo in an album. Sure, you can also hit the arrow key on your keyboard to jump to the next picture, but even that repetitive task could send you inching down the treacherous path toward carpal tunnel syndrome. Now, there’s a way to view hundreds of photos without lifting a finger: a new Facebook Prototype lets you turn these photo albums into slideshows. You can activate the prototype here.

The new feature was released as a Facebook Prototype some time last week, and it’s about as basic as they come. After activating it, you’ll find a ‘Play’ button nestled between the ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ navigation buttons in the photo viewer. Clicking it will turn the album you’re currently viewing into a slideshow, displaying a new photo every five seconds. That’s it. There apparently isn’t any way to change the frequency of the photo changes, and there aren’t any fancy transitions like you’ll get from iPhoto. But hey, you don’t have to click any more.

Facebook Prototypes are similar to Google Labs, in that they allow the social network to showcase some of the pet projects and unfinished features created by its engineers. Prototypes launched in September at TechCrunch50, and have since spawned some compelling new features, including a Mac desktop notifier, an improved photo uploader, and even a measure of Gross National Happiness.