If you use Facebook to show off your artworks, you should soon be able to let people see them at much higher-resolution than before. Facebook is challenging Flickr by adding support for unlimited high-resolution photos, plus a new photo viewer and uploader, which are rolling out throughout October to all users.

Facebook images can now be as big as 2,048 pixels at the image's largest side, compared to the 720p Facebook standard.

Any uploaded photos larger than 2,048 pixels (around 6MB in size) will be resized on users' computers before they are uploaded, meaning you won't have to wait for the photos to be resized on Facebook's servers. Facebook, however, warns that it could take up to ten times longer to upload high-resolution photos. Users can choose between uploading standard or high-res Facebook pictures before the process takes place.

Facebook is not limiting how many high-resolution pictures you can upload, and will offer an option to download the high-res version of the picture for prints or other uses. In a blog introducing the service, Facebook's Sam Odio took a spoke at rival online photo services such as Flickr, now owned by Yahoo. "Unlike on many other online services, you don't need any kind of premium or paid account," he said.

Along with the high-res photo support, Facebook is introducing a new photo viewer that will feature a light box (the dark frame around your pictures). Code for the viewer is apparently written from scratch, so that browsing through your photos will be faster.

Other improvements include the capability to tag multiple photos in the same album all at once, and tagging photos of the same person more quickly. Facebook says the photo uploader has been rebuilt as well (in Adobe Flash) for faster uploads and photo processing.

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September 27, 2010

Facebook launches page browser feature

Discover Facebook Pages quick way to browse community pages

John P Mello Jr, PCWorld.com

We can browse in bookstores. We can browse the web. And now we can browse Facebook.

That's because the largest online social network on the face of the earth launched something it's calling Discover Facebook Pages. The feature is designed to give Facebook members a quick way to browse community pages on the service and work information from those pages in their news feeds.

When you go to the Discover Facebook page, you're presented with an array of thumbnails representing an assortment of Facebook communities. If you see something you like, you simply hover over the thumbnail with your cursor. A like button will pop up. Click it and news from that community will be automatically funneled into your news feed. If you want to learn more about a community, you click its title under the thumbnail.

In addition, to the right of the thumbnails is a list of your friends and links to the communities on Facebook that you and they mutually like. You might be surprised how much or how little you share in your social network's likes and dislikes.

The idea for Discover was cooked up by a Facebook designer named Ben Blumenthal. "A couple of months ago I found myself online, browsing for movies to rent," he explains at The Facebook Blog. "There are lots of tools to find new movies or rediscover old ones. As I poked around, I thought, 'People should really be able to do this with Pages on Facebook!'"

Blumenfeld added that the feature will evolve as Facebook receives more feedback from members about it. For now, though, Discover Facebook looks like it's off to a good start.

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