Last weekend we went kayaking in the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge near Olympia. A great place to go by the way if you love seals.
When I went to upload some photos to Facebook, I was shown a new view I hadn’t seen before, showing other photos from the same location.
Apart from Instagram, this is the first real sign I’ve seen that Facebook is trying to get users to engage more in publicly shared photos. Facebook currently doesn’t have any great experience for getting users engaged in looking at photos beyond the ones in your news feed. It is built around people, places, movies, songs, and other types of things we can ‘like’ or interact with digitally (so Facebook can track us of course.) If for example I wanted to look at photos of cuckoo clocks, Facebook is not a great place for that. All I get is a page, scraped from Wikipedia, explaining what a cuckoo clock is. Flickr on the other hand, gives me a lot of photos of cuckoo clocks.
The public photo sharing/browsing space is quite crowded right now, so I don’t think it really makes too much sense for Facebook to compete there. What is interesting is the intersection of public photos to augment the experience with private photos. Viewing other photos from the same place will give me more context on the experience I had vs other people, and maybe make me want to go back again to see something I missed or under different weather conditions.
As the largest repository of photos on the internet, the pile of photos for Facebook to leverage is huge. I’ve been quite vocal about my overall disappointment in Facebook’s photo experience. Maybe this is a sign of change?