Yesterday I clicked on a picture in my Facebook news feed and POP! My friends’ infant daughter was smiling at me in all her baby blue-eyed glory. I had been upgraded. It’s hard not to comment on something that cute. In fact, at this point, it’s hard not to get into a conversation with everyone on Facebook who finds her completely adorable.
Facebook is in the midst of releasing their new photo viewer. As was my experience, the consensus so far is that most users really like it. Here are a few things to note:
Images you post on Facebook will now view at approximately 960 x 720 pixels and the screen will pop out, giving the best possible view. This takes up a large portion of an average sized laptop screen. Since the images take up so much space, you no longer need to scroll around to experience all that is going on in and around the picture. I used to find it really annoying that I had to scroll down to see the comments.
Did you ever find it awkward to leave a comment on a photo? You had to scroll down until you couldn’t even see the image anymore! That inconvenience is a thing of the past. The new photo viewer features a right sidebar devoted to comments. In fact, in accordance with Facebook’s goal of connecting people, it is actually formatted more closely along the lines of a discussion board, to encourage conversation. From now on, you will be able to view the still image, while the comments and discussion scroll down the side. This will create a much better user experience! Of course, with all the fabulous new features, we must mention one more. You guessed it, ads.
With all the excitement about the new comment space and chat sessions you will be having with your friends about their crazy birthday party pictures, the ads that are featured in the new photo viewer are a gentle reminder that Facebook just filed for an IPO. This ensures advertising will continue to play an important role. Facebook saved a small portion on the very bottom of the comment section for sponsored stories. It is not clear yet what other ads may be placed in this section. Sponsored stories more or less come recommended from friends, and are therefore less intrusive than the side ads of the past. Facebook is really striving to develop organic advertising.
Photos and videos have become increasingly important in social media marketing, and Facebook has been right on par in keeping up with the trend. The photo viewer upgrade will take the importance of picture sharing to the next level for marketers, as images literally take center stage on the Timeline. Ad targeting will need to be particularly relevant to engage consumers as advertising is organically weaved deeper into the user experience on Facebook.
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Post written by Tia Marie Kemp aka @TiaMarieKemp.