Tonight, we’re seeing Facebook‘s all-new design for displaying photos rolling out to quite a few users. It features larger images, a lightbox-type UI and other features that put Facebook in even more competition with Flickr on the casual and social photography front.
We got wind of these new Facebook Photos features some months ago around the end of September. So much time has passed, however, that we wondered whether the flashy new UI wasn’t just a test.
However, Facebook did confirm that a new photo viewer was on its way, and tonight, we’re seeing this new interface from several accounts.
One major benefit, from Facebook’s perspective, is that users will be able to browse through many photos in the lightbox layer without disrupting the underlying page and “losing their place.” Other features include hi-res photos, photo-download links and bulk tagging options.
In fact, as we noted last fall, many of these feature upgrades strongly mirror recent changes to Flickr’s own UI during the summer of 2010.
Along with Tag Suggestions, a.k.a. nascent facial recognition technology, Facebook’s photo offering, which has long been a distinguishing factor of the social network, is remaining strong and competitive.
Check your Facebook account to see if you have the new interface; if you don’t have it tonight, expect it to come over the next couple weeks.
In the comments, let us know what you think of the new Facebook Photos. Are these improvements more welcome to you than other changes Facebook has made in the past?
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