Facebook has introduced a new feature called "shared albums". Now, you can invite up to 50 contributors to your photo albums and each member can upload up to 200 photos each. As the album owner, you'll get to choose what kind of permissions to give to your contributors and whether they can invite more people or not.
You can also control the privacy of the album, keeping it Public or available to contributors or friends of contributors. Owners can delete or modify photos but contributors will be able to edit photos they have uploaded themselves as well. This means that one picnic trip will be covered from different lenses and compiled in one place instead of scattered albums in your friends' circle.
The eureka moment for this idea sprouted up during one of Facebook's Hackathons - the time during when Facebook employees put aside routine work and think about new ideas to better the platform. And it works for them too. As the largest social network on the planet with a fan base of 1.11 billion people, Facebook needs to stay fresh and ahead of the curve because that is what its users expect from it. Learn more about the process of conceiving shared albums in this blog post by AJP.
It is the baby of Bob Baldwin and Fred Zhao, the Facebook employees who spearheaded the project. But as far as the advantages of this feature is concerned, it'll be completely up to the users. Social media is governed by the users and we're waiting to see how you will use shared albums. Here are a few ideas we had:
1 - Company Portfolios:
Although shared albums are not available for Page Albums yet, company owners and employees together, using their personal profiles, can upload albums showcasing the company's work. Whether you're a fashion startup or an entrepreneur thinking of launching a magazine, you can now use the power of Shared Albums to collaborate with people around the globe.
2 - Photo competitions:
We can see this feature becoming a great tool for holding photo competitions among your friends where the photo with the most 'Likes' or comments wins. Again, since it's only available for personal profiles and not for Pages yet, competitions would seem a less-intriguing idea for your peers, but then it's always fun to prove your horse (or camera) is bigger than theirs.
3 - Wedding Wishes:
Wouldn't it be great to invite all your wedding guests to contribute to one photo album and ask them to upload their photos with captions wishing you well? We can already imagine bachelors and couples alike making ridiculous poses and sending you love. What say? We think this would be really fun. Specially, when not only you, but your friends will be able to view them and leave their own comments.
4 - Pinboard:
Pinterest was the first one that started off this idea with their shared boards to which other pinners can contribute. Facebook users will now get the opportunity to create their own pinboards on the most active social network. Film makers can collaborate on mood boards and story boards for upcoming projects; fashion designers can share pattern inspirations; artists can share their colour palettes; the DIY type can share their arts and craft ideas. What more can you think of?
5 - Learning Platform:
Since we're going really wild with ideas, why not use shared albums by inviting the teachers and educators in your Institute and ask them to collaborate through visual tips on a certain subject? Students can follow the albums, ask questions in the comments and get knowledge from a range of tutors.
Facebook's shared albums are yet another improvement to a social network that is thriving on collaboration. From community pages to groups, there are endless opportunities for people across the globe to interact with each other and bridge the gaps. After all, the purpose of Facebook is to bring the world closer. How do you think you'll use shared albums?