Would you believe that Facebook is the largest photo-sharing site on the Web? It’s true. It surpasses popular sites such as Photobucket and Flickr, among others. Facebook users upload millions of photos each month. Why? Reasons include because it’s easy, a fun way to share stuff about yourself, a perfect way to connect with others, and a great marketing tool, just to list a few. It might also help that Facebook lets you post gobs of photos. As of 2011, users have uploaded more than 100 billion photos on the social networking site. That’s a lot of pictures.
Photos you add to Facebook are organized into photo albums, just as you would do with printed photographs at home. An album can hold 1 photo or up to 200. You can also create as many albums as you want. You might make an album of vacation pictures, artistic images, snapshots of your friends and family, and so on. When you post photos, you can add captions and tag people in the photos, and other users can add comments to your photos.
All your photo activities on Facebook are handled through a built-in application called, appropriately, Photos. The application, which is part of the default apps available when you start your Facebook account, offers tools for uploading, organizing, and sharing photos.
You can share photos on your profile page (also known as the timeline), in the news feed out on the Home page, in messages and notes, in group postings, and more. One of the easiest ways to view your friends’ photos is when you see them posted as a story on the news feed on your Home page, as shown in Figure 9.1. Just click a photo to open the image in its own window, or click the album name located next to the photo to open the associated album.
Figure 9.1 Posted photos often appear as stories on the news feed on your Home page.
Another way to view photos is on profile pages. For example, if you’re viewing your friend’s page, you can click a photo in her timeline, or you can click her Photos link and view her listed albums. Figure 9.2 shows an example of photos posted on the timeline of a profile page.
Figure 9.2 Another way to view photos is on profile pages.
When you select a photo to view, Facebook displays it in the photo viewer window, as shown in Figure 9.3, as a larger image. If there is more than one photo in the album, you can click the navigation arrows on either side of the image to move back and forth between pictures.
Figure 9.3 The Facebook photo viewer lets you see larger versions of your photos.
The viewer window has options for commenting, sharing the photo with others, tagging someone in the photo, or reporting any photo that violates the Facebook terms of service. Not that you need to be reminded, but some restrictions apply as to what types of photos you can share on Facebook. So if you’re hoping to start your own online pornography magazine, Facebook is not the way to go. You can check out Facebook’s Terms of Service page to learn more about rules and conduct on the site. See Lesson 3, “Finding Help with Facebook Services and Etiquette,” to find out more.
To add your two cents about the photo, click in the comment box and start typing. Press Enter (Return) to post the comment. You can also “Like” a photo or share it on your profile page and news feed. Click the Like link to add a thumbs-up icon below the photo. Click the Share link to open the Share this Photo dialog box where you can share the image on your timeline, in another friend’s timeline, in a group, or in a private message.
To exit the window and return to what you were doing on Facebook, just click the Close button located in the upper-right corner of the viewer, or press the Esc key.
Viewing photos is easy enough, but if you’re looking for an all-encompassing spot to view your own photos, visit the Photos page. The next section tells you how.