Facebook to implement fullscreen, hi-res photo viewing

Facebook today announced both a new option to view photos fullscreen and backend changes that improve the color output for photos on the site.

The fullscreen option is the most immersive photos experience on Facebook to date, stripping away buttons and ads when users click an arrow in the top right corner of images. Pages can leverage the new viewer by sharing high resolution images and telling users how to view it full size.

In News Feed, photos from pages are still much smaller than those from friends (see below). Users might be likely to skip over page posts without bothering to click on a photo and see it fullscreen. Facebook does this to prevent pages from putting ad-like images in the feed, but it also hurts pages that are posting content fans would appreciate.

According to Facebook, the site sees more than 250 million photo uploads per day. The social network regularly increases the size and quality of images while generally avoiding lag time for viewing. In August 2011, it increased photo width from 720 pixels to 960 pixels.

The company has also focused on creating a more aesthetic photo viewer that also encourages social interaction. In January, Facebook changed the design to display photos and comments side by side. The maximum resolution for a photo uploaded to Facebook is 2,048×2,048 pixels.