So this is something that Facebook talked about several months back but we are just now starting to see an all-new design for the way Facebook displays photos roll out across the world’s most popular social network. Normally, Facebook seems to target small user groups for things like this but for this one it seems that they are rolling it out pretty quickly to the masses. As of 12am last night my account had been updated with the new interface. The UI utilizes a lightbox-style presentation with larger images, this means that when you view an image you will no longer be taken to a page where that image resides but instead an overlay will appear over the page you are currently on. The effect of this is to not take you out of overall “Facebook social experience” so that when you are doing looking a picture you simply close the interface and go back to what you were doing. In albums, you can also dynamically rearrange the order of photos by simply dragging and dropping them from once place to the other within the album.
The introduction of this new capability is sending a pretty clear message that Facebook is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with Flickr in this space and with Facebook’s already expansive user base it automatically makes them a force to be reckoned with. We can definitely see Facebook expanding this capability to allow folks to essentially do what Flickr does for them through Facebook in which case Flickr might have some serious issues. The new feature also supports high resolution photos, photo-download links and bulk tagging options, seems eerily similar to Flickr doesn’t it?
It seems like Facebook is rolling out the new interface pretty aggressively, so if you don’t have it now you should start to see it over the next several days and weeks. For those who already have the new interface, what do you think? Does this spell the beginning of the end for Flickr and similar services? Let us know in the comments.