Everything You Need To Know About Sharable Facebook Albums
Earlier this week, Facebook announced that they would be launching shared photo albums, beginning in the UK before rolling out globally. This new feature originated during one of Facebook’s “hackathon” sessions, where every-day work is put to one side in favour of bouncing around new ideas.
One album, one conversation
While only select users have access to shared albums at the moment, they will soon be freely available. Anyone will be able to create a shared album, and grant access to as many as 50 other photo contributors. Each contributor can post up to 200 photos in the album, and then, depending on the album creator’s settings, a contributor can hypothetically invite other users to submit content to the album. Kurt Wagner at Mashable believes that “shared albums will clearly be useful for group events like camping trips, weddings, parties and family reunions”.
Bob Baldwin, the software engineer who developed shared albums alongside Fred Zhao, says that their new product aims to eliminate the annoyance caused when images from one event get scattered. “Right now, if you were at a party and there were three different albums created, you might not be able to see all the photos [based on privacy settings], which is confusing and frustrating.”
How to create a shared album
The process of making a photo album sharable on Facebook is pretty simple: a button has been added to the existing ‘Create Album’ screen, which gives users the opportunity to invite their friends to be contributors. This is also where album creators can control the privacy settings of their albums, if they want to veto each new contributor.
It is unclear even to Baldwin and Zhao themselves at present just how this new feature will be received and adapted by users. Says Baldwin: “I think one thing that’s really fun about creating products for Facebook is that you’re never quite sure how people will use the product in the end. We’re really excited for launch because we think people will use [shared albums] in ways that we’re not even thinking of.”
While shared albums will only be available to Facebook users, and not Pages, it remains to be seen whether the bigwigs at Facebook decide to give marketers access. If so, it is possible that shared albums will offer brands a new way to leverage content into engagement, via curated and viral images, similar to Coca-Cola’s “happiness” page on Tumblr.
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