A brief post today by Facebook product manager Justin Shaffer describes a new version of Facebook’s photo viewer coming out now. In place of the black lightbox background window that it previously had you’ll see a much thinner white background. Meanwhile, images are getting considerably more space, going from 720 to 960 pixels., They’ll also load “twice as fast,” Shaffer writes.
For sake of comparison, newly-launched Google+’s maximum photo size is 2048 pixels. Facebook’s size increase might be designed to reduce the gap between the two. The thinner border will keep more of the previously viewed page visible, reminding users to close the photo viewer and resume browsing rather than leave Facebook altogether.
By moving to from a black to a white background, opening photos from the mostly white news feed should be less jarring. This could reduce fatigue from rapidly dropping in and out of the photo viewer and keep users browsing the site for longer.
The photos product has been one of Facebook’s key draws since the early years. Today, in a new stat revealed in the blog post, the company says it’s getting 250 million uploads a day, or about one photo for every three users on Facebook. The upgrade will be rolled out over the next few week, and should make Facebook Photos even more of an attraction for sharing and viewing.