Digital Insights

Facebook Previews a Sleek New Photo Uploader


Published: November 19, 2009

Facebook is not only the world’s biggest social network, it’s also one of the most popular places to share photos. For users with lots of photos, however, the process of adding albums or collections to Facebook can be kind of a chore.

Sure, there are apps available to minimize the time it takes to tag people in your pictures, but the upload process itself is slow, dated, and buggy. Facebook agrees and today has introduced a new Photo Uploader Prototype.

Facebook describes the prototype as “a preview of an upcoming replacement for the existing Facebook photo uploader. This brand new experience makes use of the new Facebook Plug-In, a light-weight browser plug-in.” And you can activate it and start using it on your account immediately.

The new photo uploader is a huge improvement over the old version. This is how it works: the first time you launch the uploader, you’ll be asked to install a new Facebook Plugin. The plugin works with Windows, Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux 8.04 and up (the plugin only works in the 32-bit version of Ubuntu at this time). The plugin should install right in your browser, but you might have to download it separately and run the file, like I did on my Mac.

In any event, you don’t have to restart your browser to use the plugin. Once the plugin is installed you’ll see your standard “Create an Album” screen, but now when you select “Select Photos,” this is what pops up:

It’s fast and allows you to access photos from your computer (you can easily select folder or folder within folders). You can then add photos from all over your computer and when you’re ready, select upload. At this time, the upload process will take place in the background, meaning you can go back to using Facebook instead of waiting for your files to upload.

This is still in the testing phase, so you might find some bugs — if you have issues — you can always deactivate the prototype and go back to the old way of uploading. The Facebook team hopes to roll out the new version to all users as a replacement soon.

We have to say, the new uploader is a huge improvement over other options. In fact, stand-alone apps like the Flickr Uploadr not-withstanding, this uploader is one of the best ways we’ve seen to upload photos to an online service.

What do you think about Facebook’s new photo uploader?


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