Facebook Announces Shared Photo Albums To Boost Group Engagement

Facebook is rolling out shared photo albums, as first reported by Mashable. Users can share access to an album with up to 50 contributors, who can each add up to 200 photos.

For those of you who aren’t math whizzes, that means shared albums can be as large as 10,000 photos. Previously, albums were limited to 1,000 total photos and users could only add pictures to their own albums.

This new feature should be good for user engagement in groups of friends and with larger albums. Facebook has done a good job of focusing its browser-based photo section around albums and larger batches of photos, while leaving (Facebook-owned) Instagram to dominate single photos. Users can beautify and share quick snaps in time with their friends via Instagram, but for larger life events (weddings, graduations, even just cool vacations), they can share much larger batches of photos on Facebook.

This is a bit of a blow to apps like Albumatic and Flock, which are also trying to crack group photo albums. But many have tried and failed before in this space, so it’s far from a foregone conclusion that Facebook’s feature will crush these smaller competitors. The feature is also similar to Google+’s Party Mode, in which users can share all of their photos and videos in real time with the guests of an associated event.

Facebook users can share these new group albums with the public, friends of the contributors, or just contributors to the album. The prototype for shared picture albums was reportedly built by a dozen engineers at one of Facebook’s company-wide hackathons.

Facebook has begun rolling out the feature to a small number of users today. It will be available at first only as a desktop option, and will expand to all English users first before the social network rolls it out internationally.

Image via Mashable