Facebook searches photos, more

 

Want to see what your friends looked like 20 years ago? Or which ones took shots on Las Vegas earlier this month? Soon it will be simple to do so.

Facebook’s new “Graph Search” will let its 1 billion members quickly search through its 240 billion photos.

Facebook says it gives people “the tools to map out their relationships with the people and things they care about. We call this map the graph.” The new way to navigate these connections, Graph Search, combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook, the company says. “Graph Search will help you instantly find others, learn more about them and make connections, explore photos, quickly find places like local attractions and restaurants, and learn about common interests like music, movies, books and more. All results are unique based on the strength of relationships and connections.”

The first version of Graph Search focuses on four main areas — people, photos, places, and interests. For example, “photos I like,” “photos of my family,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “photos of my friends taken in New York,” “photos of the Eiffel Tower”

As most content on the service isn’t public, “we’ve built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind,” the company adds. “It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.”

More information is here.

1-16-2013

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Facebook will poke you

 

Previously we discussed Snapchat and the new phenomenon of “self-destructing” photos — shots you can send for real-time visual communication without worrying they’ll be around forever to embarrass you — and predicted Facebook would soon offer its own version.

That happened almost instantaneously, as the leading social service introduced its Poke for Mobile app.

The iPhone app “makes it fun and easy to say hello to friends wherever you are,” the company says. The poke feature has been a part of Facebook since 2004. “Now we’re excited to share a new poke experience for mobile. With the Poke app, you can poke or send a message, photo, or video to Facebook friends to share what you’re up to in a lightweight way. You can poke an individual friend or several at once. Each message expires after a specific time you’ve set, either 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds. When time runs out, the message disappears from the app.”

As we noted last week, “sexting” is a concern with these instant images. Facebook notes that “”If you ever see something you’re uncomfortable with, you can click the gear menu and report it.”

12-26-2012

___________________________________________________________________________

SnapChat — “Self-destructing” photos may alter photosharing

 

News analysis with Hans Hartman

There is some truth to the cliché, “A picture is worth a 1000 words.” Instagram knows it, and so does Twitter. No wonder photo-based Instagram has more daily active users than text-centric Twitter.  No wonder Twitter offered to buy Instagram for $525 million before Facebook managed to snap it up.  No wonder Twitter stopped outsourcing their photo storage to Photobucket to control their photo destiny themselves.

But what if your 1000 words were automatically recorded by the other party, who’d keep that recording?  Would you think twice before you pick up the phone — or share your picture? I hate to break it to you, but your 1000 words are recorded the minute you share your photo. Each time you email a photo the recipient has a copy, and they might share it with anyone — and there’s nothing you could do about it. And it’s worse with social networks. We found in our 6Sight Social Imaging Survey that people share on the average 34 photos per month.  But each time you share a photo on Facebook, who knows who’ll see it, today, this week, or ten years from now? It might linger around forever and could come back to haunt you, as editor Sarah Lacy writes at the Pandodaily news site.

However — what would happen if you could share certain photos without fear of being recorded? What if they could be set to “self-destruct” after a few seconds?  Would you share more photos?

Snapchat offers just that.  The five-person startup let you take and share what they call “self-destructing” photos. Already, 50 million are shared this way per day! That’s 10 times as many as Instagram, and already one-sixth the number of uploaded daily to Facebook.  (And if photos are not enough, the company announced on Friday it will also let you share self-destructing videos.)

Snapchat says it has “a new way to share photos with friends and family. We’re making “social media” fun again. We believe in sharing authentic moments with friends. It’s not all about fancy vacations, sushi dinners, or beautiful sunsets. Sometimes it’s an inside joke, a silly face, or greetings from a pet fish. Sharing those moments should be fun. Communication is more entertaining when it’s with the people who know us best. And we know that no one is better at making us laugh than our friends. There is value in the ephemeral. Great conversations are magical. That’s because they are shared, enjoyed, but not saved.”

As 80 percent of these photos are shared during the day, Snapchat’s success can’t be brushed off as “sexting,” as some have tried to do. Instead, we might be witnessing the birth of a new era of image sharing.

What are they sharing? It can primarily be the silly shots you’d like to send as a joke — if only you didn’t have to fear the image being out there forever for potential embarrassment.

It might also encourage a new generation of smartphone users to take up true visual communication — using an image instead of a thousand words, with the same freedom from worry they now have when it comes to talking on the phone that their words might be recovered.

Instant, “disposable” images are on their way. Who is first in line with a Snapchat clone?  Not too surprising: it’s Facebook! The company spent so much money on Instagram, but now it’s suddenly seeing photos shared in droves outside either of its networks. It can’t chance missing out on another disruptive new photosharing trend. Yes, a picture is worth a 1000 words, as Facebook knows better than most of us realize…

More information is here.

And here.

Suite 48 Analytics president Hans Hartman will speak in the “Mobile Imaging and retail Category Growth” session at DIMA, and the “Mobile Photo App Users – Will They ever order Photo Products?” session at PMA@CES.

12-19-2012

___________________________________________________________________________

Facebook syncs to share photos faster

 

Maybe you’re like me: I take a lot of photos; I read friends’ posts on Facebook often; I hardly ever even think of posting a new photo there when I take it.

And maybe the new photo sync will prompt both of us to start sharing more shots, as it automates the uploading — when you take a photo on your phone in the mobile app, it’s sent to the site — and stores your images until you post ’em on your page.

“We’re excited to roll out photo sync, which makes it easier to share photos,” Facebook says. “With this feature, photos from your phone sync automatically to a private album on the web. When you want to share these photos, just pick and post your favorites.”

The company began testing photo sync in August, it says, but is now rolling it out more widely in its Facebook app for Android or iPhone.

When you turn on photo syncing, Facebook says, your mobile photos will be saved to a private section of your Facebook Photos. Only you can see the photos you’ve synced from your phone. When you later view your synced photos, you can choose shots to send in a private message, or share your on your timeline from desktop, mobile, or another device.

When you’re on a cellular network, Facebook will upload shrunken version of photos (around 100K each, it says), “so they’re unlikely to use much of your data plan.” However, it warns, “Please keep in mind that uploading over a cellular network will use your data plan and may cost you money.” [It can be set to upload only over a WiFi connection.]

Facebook’s billion members have uploaded more than 219 billion photos, at a current rate of about 300 million photos every day. The mobile apps however reportedly have less than 250 million users.

12-3-2012

___________________________________________________________________________

Facebook acquisition of Instagram complete

Due to falling stock prices, the deal is now worth less than the much-hyped $1B purchase price set in April — but Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram is officially complete. “We’re excited to bring Instagram to Facebook and see what we can create together,” the company says.

For its part, Instagram says its community “continues to grow, and over 5 billion photos have now been shared through Instagram.” The Instagram app and its features will “stay the same one you know and love.”

The deal was approved by the FTC and the California Department of Corporations, TechCrunch reports.

comScore later reported Instagram has more active daily users than Twitter.

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Snapfish prints Facebook’s Timeline

HP’s online photo service Snapfish says its SocialPics application “curates the best moments from a person’s Facebook Timeline and displays them in a personalized book.”

SocialPics identifies popular photos, comments and status updates and creates a 20-page, 8-inch x 8-inch custom photo book. The company says its new tool “captures moments from a person’s social life on Facebook and displays these milestones in a printed keepsake they can share for years to come.”

The application filters meaningful content from the user’s profile based on comments, “Likes” and other interactions, Snapfish adds, and automatically arranges the content in chronological order.

Customers can customize the content by choosing a specific timeframe for their book, adding a fun title and selecting a soft cover book for $20, or a hard cover for $29.

More information is here.

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Facebook: “A More Beautiful View of Photos”

The most popular worldwide website for social imaging announced improvements “that make viewing photos more enjoyable.”

Facebook says its users can now click a photos at the top of a timeline to see larger pictures that fill up the page, and with a new menu, find shots they are tagged in, pictures they have shared, and albums they’ve created.

Users can also select which shots get more prominent placement and size “to make important photos stand out.”

The overall new look is being compared by many to the photo layout on Google +.

The new photo tools are rolling out this week.

___________________________________________________________________________


Facebook acquires Face — facial recognition, that is

Social network Facebook acquired another imaging technology developer: Israel-based Face.com, which provides facial recognition services.

“Our mission is and has always been to find new and exciting ways to make face recognition a fun, engaging part of people’s lives,” the Israeli-based developer says, “and incorporate remarkable technology into everyday consumer products. If you’re anything like us, Facebook is a part of your life every single day. By working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we’ll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers. That’s all we’ve ever wanted to do.”

Also, as other firms now use Face.com’s technology and APIs, the company will “continue to support our developer community.”

Techcrunch reports the acquisition cost at an estimated $80 – $100 million.

In March, the developer offered the app Klik, which uses real-time face recognition so “your friends’ names instantly appear next to their faces before or after you snap a photo.” The free iPhone app ties your phone into your Facebook account to scan for friends’ photo to near-instantly identify people onscreen on the phone, the company says.

___________________________________________________________________________

Rumored: Apple building camera, Facebook making a phone


Facebook
isn’t just making it’s own camera app for the iPhone: the social network is rumored to be working on its own camera-phone.

On the one hand, it’s a big leap from coding a website for socializing to making physical hardware, especially hardware as advanced as today’s smartphone. On the other, all Facebook would have to do is request bestselling phone manufacturers HTC or Samsung offer some new phone designs to choose from. However, even that move would beg the question of what operating system a Facebook phone would run: even though it’s reportedly getting along much better with Apple these days, and some iOS tie-ins are in the works, Apple certainly would not allow any other company to market a device with its iPhone software. Even less likely is Facebook offering an Android phone, the OS from arch-rival Google. That leaves Windows Phone as the only likely contender, and we’d bet Facebook sees no reason to tie its brand to Microsoft. [And Microsoft’s utter failure with its Kin “social phones” should give Facebook reason to reconsider even the idea of entering the phone hardware business.]

All told: most photos today are taken with phones, and more photos are shared and stored on Facebook than anywhere else. The company even noted the importance of photography to its success in its prospectus for its stock offering, and Facebook’s drive to dominate mobile imaging lead to its acquisition of Instagram last month. Also: The scuttlebutt in Silicon Valley is some former Apple engineers are now employed at Facebook, and working on the phone plans. And lastly, Facebook has more than 900 million active users — selling a phone to just a fraction of them could make for a worthwhile venture. Given all that, a Facebook phone would not be a surprise.

 

Rumors about Apple are of course piling up in the weeks before its annual developers conference, at which it regularly makes significant announcements. Most interesting is talk that the company will offer not just another camera-phone, but also a standalone camera.

Apple is no stranger to photography, of course: almost two decades ago it was actually one of the very first companies to market a digital camera to consumers, and today its iPhone is by some measures the single most popular camera used. Also, as many online pundits are now noting, former CEO Steve Jobs is reported to have listed photography as one of the three remaining markets he wanted to fundamentally change.

While we’ve long argued that there is a market for a device with a better sensor and optical zoom lens that worked as an accessory to an iPhone — providing better image capture and using the phone for connectivity, display, and computation — there may also be an untapped market desire for single device, a camera that matched the image quality of a respectable <$500 pocket camera, but which also provided the ease of use coupled with untold expandability that iOS and its many third-party apps provide photographers. Imaging is one of the leading categories for app sales today, showing that iPhone owners are willing to pay for more photographic capability. Might they pay a few hundred dollars for a device instead of $1-5 for an app? Well, this enthusiast would. An iPod Touch is now $200; it, sadly, has a mere <1MP sensor and a rather poor lens. But a photo-upgraded Touch — with a larger, more light-sensitive sensor and a fast optical zoom lens, priced at $300–400 — would be hard to pass up.

And it almost goes without saying that this new camera would have WiFi if not 3G:  photography today is both mobile and social, and so going forward, new cameras must provide connectivity. With iCloud and its photo streaming functions, Apple is good-to-go here.

We’ve long argued that the camera industry is hurting itself by continuing to make “dumb cameras” — devices with no operating system, no expandability, and no social connectivity — and we suggested an enhanced iPod could be a perfect “smart camera” back here in September 2010.

Let us know what you think in the comments: Apple camera, yay or nay?

We’ll be discussing the future of image capture in all its many forms at The 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference in New York on June 25-26. We hope to see you there.

More on the Facebook phone is here and here.

More on the Apple camera is here and here.

And Dave Winer makes a good case here that Facebook could actually develop a social camera.
___________________________________________________________________________

 

Facebook builds its own Camera mobile app

In April, Facebook paid a cool $1 Billion for Instagram, a mobile imaging app that takes photos and applies filters. The deal hasn’t yet closed, but at the end of May, Facebook released its own new app… which does the same thing.

No, that does not appear to make sense… Unless you believe, as many do, that the acquisition was merely about killing competition in mobile social imaging, the area that is most key to Facebook’s continued success.

“Today, we’re introducing Camera,” Facebook says,  “a new mobile app that makes using Facebook photos faster and easier.” And the app boasts an important feature Instagram lacks: “Now you can quickly share multiple photos all at once instead of having to post one at a time.”

The iPhone app is free. It includes 15 filters, cropping, and rotating functions.
___________________________________________________________________________

 

Facebook hiring Lightbox developers

 

Facebook hired the developers of Lightbox, an Android-focused social imaging platform.

While the Lightbox team is joining Facebook, the social network is not actually acquiring the service, it’s site, or its user base. Existing members can use Lightbox.com until June 15, when the UK-based service shuts down.

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Facebook to acquire Instagram for $1 Billion

The world’s largest social network will acquire the hot new imaging network for $1 billion in cash and stock options.

“The total consideration for San Francisco-based Instagram is approximately $1 billion in a combination of cash and shares of Facebook. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this quarter,” Facebook says.

Instagram is a mobile image sharing platform that grew to 30 million users in just 15 months on Apple’s iPhone, and which last week added an Android version of its app — and saw an immediate leap of millions of more new members.

“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family,” says Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a blog post on the acquisition. “Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests. We believe these are different experiences that complement each other.”

Instagram and CEO Kevin Systrom says he and co-founder Krieger started Instagram “to change and improve the way the world communicates and shares. We’ve had an amazing time watching Instagram grow into a vibrant community of people from all around the globe… Every day that passes, we see more experiences being shared through Instagram in ways that we never thought possible.”

Zuckerberg also notes the rareness of the transaction: “This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users,” he says. “We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.”

However, Zuckerberg says Instagram will remain an independent service, and keep its connections to competing platforms. “Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it,” he says, “and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people… We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook. …We need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.”

“It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away,” Systrom confirms. “We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience. The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love. You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you. You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.”

Our take: The social power of photo sharing has long been a key aspect of Facebook’s huge growth and success — but the company was not getting the traction in mobile imaging that it had long established on the desktop. Instagram was proving that a new, simpler way of enhancing and  sharing photos on the phone could quickly catch fire.

Facebook has long been rumored to be developing improved mobile imaging apps. Perhaps it proved simpler to buy a tried-and-tested tool instead of work in-house. But in our opinion, with this purchase Facebook is primarily heading off a possible social networking competitor, as Instagram’s actual features and technology are likely not anything FB couldn’t have developed itself.

Also important: what significant percentage of Instagram’s users were not already FB members? (Yes, yes, Instagram had much more *active* users perhaps…)

Nonetheless, our congratulations to the Instagram team for a widely-admired imaging service, and now, for billion-dollar financial reward for the work.

CanvasPop prints enlarged Facebook photos

CanvasPop claims its new service “allows customers to print Facebook photos at any size.”

Users of the social network store some of their “best and most cherished photo memories” on Facebook, the company says. “The biggest problem from a printing perspective has been dealing with the very low resolution the files are stored at. CanvasPop spent the last two years developing a process that allows customers to print Facebook photos at virtually any size without having to worry about anything technical. The images are guaranteed to look great.”

Also, Facebook users can send a photo gift “without spoiling the surprise.” After accessing a friend’s Facebook photos in which they themselves are also tagged, or for which they otherwise have viewing permission, “they can create the perfect gift of highly personalized art without the headache.”

The service includes 24 by 72-inch canvas prints.

More information is here.

 

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Walnuts makes albums from Facebook friends’ photos

While services for creating custom photo books from Facebook images abound, most work only with your own images. Walnuts’ new Facebook app also automatically builds digital or printed books — but it can do so for your friends, using their images.

“You can either create a book from your most popular photos, or select your favorite albums,” the company says.” “Each book contains a mixture of photos, photo comments, and status updates. You can delete unwanted photos or status pages. The content will automatically be replaced by your next most popular photo.”

The $10-20 books look like hand-written journals instead of standard slick-looking albums.

Techcrunch has more here.

________________________________________________

 

Deleted photos still on Facebook

Photos deleted by users on Facebook are still actually stored by the social service — and even accessible to web viewing by anyone with a direct link to the images.

News website Ars Technica reports the company “is still working on deleting photos from its servers in a timely manner nearly three years after Ars first brought attention to the topic. The company admitted on Friday that its older systems for storing uploaded content “did not always delete images from content delivery networks in a reasonable period of time even though they were immediately removed from the site,” but said it’s currently finishing up a newer system that makes the process much quicker.”

Members can remove the image from the main interface, Ars says, “but as long as someone had a direct link to the .jpg file in question, the photo would remain accessible for an indefinite amount of time.”

Ars reports Facebook responded to its new claims by saying, “The systems we used for photo storage a few years ago did not always delete images from content delivery networks in a reasonable period of time even though they were immediately removed from the site.” Photos remaining online are stuck in a legacy system, but Facebook is working on a new system that will delete the photos in a month and a half.

The full article is here.

________________________________________________

 

Facebook filing shows photo focus

Facebook filed for its initial public stock offering, and the forms reveal some interesting info on the social network’s use of pictures — starting with the opening picture in its filing, which emphasizes photography.

The company says it has “grown from our beginnings in a college dorm room in 2004 to a service that is fundamentally changing the way people connect, discover, and share around the world.” It had 845 million monthly active users as of December 31, 2011, an increase of 39 percent as compared to 608 million as of December 31, 2010.

Facebook reports it is “the most popular photo uploading service on the web. On average, more than 250 million photos per day were uploaded to Facebook in the three months ended December 31, 2011. Users can upload an unlimited number of high resolution photos, create photo albums, and share them with their friends or any audience they choose. Users can also upload and share videos. Users can set specific privacy settings for each of their photo albums and videos, making them visible to everyone, or only to certain friends. Users can easily arrange their photos, add captions, and “tag” people in a photo or video. Tagging allows users to identify a person in a photo or video as one of their friends.”

Facebook adds in its section on media storage and serving that it stores more than 100 petabytes (100 quadrillion bytes) of photos and videos, and has built its own storage and serving technologies “which allow us to efficiently serve and store the data.”

The complete filing is here.

________________________________________________

 

 

Shutterfly adds Facebook sharing to iPhone app

Personal publishing service Shutterfly updated its iPhone app with “more features for preserving and sharing photos.”

The tool for uploading, viewing and sharing photos on-the-go will now also post pictures from Shutterfly or its Share sites directly to Facebook from an iPhone or iPod; automatically prompt users to upload new pictures from their iPhone or iPod camera roll to Shutterfly; provide the ability to view, comment and like pictures on their Shutterfly Share sites; and to upload pictures directly to Share sites, as well as the ability to download Share site pictures to an iPhone.

“The holidays are a great time of year to both capture and share photos,” the company says, “and these new features along with tighter integration with Facebook and our Share sites will create a seamless mobile photo sharing experience for our customers all year long.”

More information is here.

 

White-label app makes photo books on Facebook

Ecce Terram has developed a white-label application that enables Facebook members to create photo books directly from a Facebook photo album, and order “from their favorite photo services provider.”

The custom brandable application “clears the way for large retailers and photo services to generate new photo book orders from a so-far underdeveloped source,” the company says. “Facebook has become the premier destination for consumers to share and store their photo memories.” For retail chains and photo processing services, “the photo book app could well be the key to unlock the huge potential of this market.”

Facebook members can select an album on their Facebook page, choose a background color, and pick an image frame. Once they have chosen the pictures to include, added short text comments (optional), defined the sort order and determined the cover photo, they can order the photo book, all from within Facebook.

 

 

All photography is mobile

[Commentary] Today the Wall Street Journal confirmed Facebook is developing a phone of its own. And so the company that is by far the leading online site for photography — Facebook says its members upload more than 250 million photos each day — will extend from solely photo sharing to photo capture. 

Meanwhile, a comprehensive review of the iPhone 4S camera shows its image quality is more than comparable to standalone cameras. 

It’s often said in debate that the key to winning is framing the argument, and defining the terms.

And the telephone industry has somehow won the term “mobile imaging.”

Meaning the traditional camera industry is… what? Non-moving imaging? Couch-bound capture? Frozen-in-place photography?

Most of us take pictures when we leave our homes. Yes, there are some who — ahem — take photos from recliners of cats sleeping on desktops — but otherwise, we all take a picture when we have left our home, gone to a striking location, or are attending an event, visiting with people, or otherwise seeing something new… When we are out-and-about. In other words, mobile.

It’s not just a semantic distinction.
It’s emblematic of how the camera industry — despite doing admittedly well, year-to-year — lost the real photography mass market to phone makers and Facebook.

[Read more...]

Facebook developing its own phone

“The Facebook Phone: It’s Finally Real and Its Name Is Buffy.”

That’s the claim of The Wall Street Journal’s All Things D technology news site. [“Buffy” is the TV vampire slayer.]

The company is working with phone manufacturer HTC on its own Android-running smart phone.

Facebook is already the leading online photography service, with hundreds of millions of photos uploaded every day.

The complete article is here.

 

 

——————————————————————————————

 

 

Skype powering Facebook video calls

Skype says it will “Bring Your Social Network To Life” with Facebook-to-Facebook call from within the latest versions of the Skype application.

Basic Facebook video calling powered by Skype was launched in July. “This new development in the Skype-Facebook partnership is the latest example of how Skype is removing communication barriers and making it easier to connect with friends, family and business colleagues,” the company says. “We are on a mission to connect over one billion people and our continued partnership with Facebook brings us one step closer to this goal.”

Initiating a Facebook-to-Facebook call is easy, Skype  says: select a Facebook friend and hit the video call button in Skype; your friend simply picks up the call from Facebook. “This new feature lets you maintain social connections with your Facebook friends.”

The new features were added to Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac and Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows.

Also new are improved video rendering giving a smoother video experience for Mac users and group screen sharing for Windows users with a Premium subscription. (Group screen sharing is currently available for Mac users).

——————————————————————————————

Facebook to photo book in 5 minutes

With a new bookmaking workflow, Facebook users can more quickly turn their photo album into printed books, says San Francisco, Calif.-based Blurb.

Facebook has more than 800 million active users and more than 250 million photos are uploaded daily,” the company says. “The new bookmaking flow from Blurb allows those users to take their curated albums from their accounts into a tangible, high-quality book in a few simple steps.”

Photo comments and captions associated with a picture are also showcased around the relevant image. The book can be purchased as-is, or further edited using Blurb’s Bookify tool.

A 7 by 7 inch square format book starts at $11.

——————————————————————————————

New Facebook ap for iPad enlarges images

Facebook is providing a new free app designed specifically for Apple’s iPad.

One notable distinction: Bigger, better photos, the company says. “Photos really shine on the iPad. They’re bigger and easy to flip through, like a real photo album. It’s like having a slideshow with all your friends and memories, wherever you go.”

Other new features include: users can chat with friends, play games and use apps in full-screen mode, watch high-res videos inline, record HD video, and stream to Airplay devices.

Facebook for iPad is now available in the App Store.

 

FotoMedia initiates legal action against Facebook

FotoMedia Technologies filed suit for unauthorized use of its intellectual property against leaders in the social networking space including Facebook and MySpace, the company says.

FotoMedia claims “a majority of the digital camera manufacturers and leading online media-sharing service providers have licensed FotoMedia technology. Social networking is the next logical market to continue these efforts.”

FotoMedia developed its technology in the 1990s, and says it provides for effective and efficient use of digital media across a variety of devices from the time of capture/creation through distribution and sharing of the media.

There are now hundreds of millions of users that have uploaded tens of billions of photos and videos within this ecosystem, the company says, resulting in a substantial amount of revenue and growth driven by access to, and sharing of, digital media.

 

More information is here.

 

Facebook’s “bigger, faster photos”

Sharing pictures is one of the most popular activities on Facebook, the company says, with more than 250 million photos uploaded each day — and so it is “constantly working on making Facebook Photos better.”

Last week Facebook made pictures bigger and faster: from 720 pixels across to 960, and loading twice as fast — “giving you quicker access to more detailed images.”

Previously uploaded photos that had been downsized for old display standard were apparently stored at full resolution, as “pictures you’ve already uploaded to your profile will also be displayed at this higher resolution,” the company says.

Facebook also again retooled its photo viewer, and now touts its “cleaner interface that makes it even easier to enjoy your photos. The light box is now set against a simple white background that puts more of the focus on the photo, and less on the surrounding frame.”

 

The announcement is here.