If you’re sick of interrupting your news feed reading to open and load photos, you’ll like a new Facebook mobile site, iOS, and Android app redesign rolling out today that makes photos three times larger. Shares of single photos now look a lot like Instagrams, as they appear full width so there’s less need to stop and open them. Meanwhile the bigger previews of photo albums will help you instantly assess whether to dive in or breeze past. Josh Constine
I got this update as well the day before. I don’t think bigger photos work on mobile for three reasons: longer load times (I used to think the Facebook app couldn’t get any slower, but I now stand corrected), more bandwidth (this certainly won’t encourage me to use it over 3G) and more scrolling (before you could see a couple of updates at a glance, now only one). Just look at the example on the right: the photo is so big, that on the iPhone you can’t fit the avatar and the status message above the photo on the same screen with the Like & Comment bar at the bottom. I like to choose what photos I look at more closely, not have all of them shoved in my face. But hey, still no ads! That has to be a good thing, right?
One more thing: while writing the post I noticed on Twitter that Facebook just launched a standalone app for photos, Facebook Camera. The previous update to the main app makes even less sense now: why change the news stream when you know you’re going to launch a dedicated app with better features in a couple of days?