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Facebook launches new photo colab feature

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This is an idea so obviously good that you’ve got to wonder why it took Facebook so long to come up with it. The social networking giant has unveiled a new feature that allows up to 50 people to collaborate on a photo album.

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Each of those people will be able to upload around 200 photos, making it ideal for things like school reunions, large events, or weddings. Until now, people have only been able to upload photos to albums they’ve created and each album has been limited to 1 000 photos.

The new albums, apparently created a Facebook hackathon, come with three privacy settings: public, friends of contributors and contributors only. According to Bob Baldwin, a Facebook engineer who headed up the project with Fred Zhao, the person who first creates the album will also be able to control who is allowed to upload to it.

“Right now, if you were at a party and there were three different albums created, you might not be able to see all the photos [based on privacy settings], which is kind of confusing and frustrating,” Baldwin said. Album creators will have the power to delete or modify photos in the album, but contributors will have editing power over photos that they upload. The feature is not available for Page albums, says a Facebook spokesperson.

According to Mashable, Zhao and Baldwin had taken up the challenge of developing the product prior to the hackathon in January and recruited around a dozen engineers from across the company to help them out. They apparently stayed up until 6 AM the next morning building a prototype and seem to have a pretty positive view of the experience.

“I think one thing that’s really fun about creating products at Facebook is that you’re never quite sure how people will use the product in the end,” Baldwin said. “We’re really excited for launch because we think people will use [shared albums] in ways that we’re not even thinking of.”

Facebook has already begun rolling the new feature out to English-speaking users and will push it out to the rest of the world.

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