Facebook is experimenting with a new feature that appears in the right sidebar while a user browses the in-house Photos application. Called “Related Photos”, it displays two types of shots: photos from other albums by the person who uploaded the shot you’re currently looking at, and additional photos of your friends who are tagged in the album you’re viewing.
This trial follows other right sidebar features like Photo Memories and Unread Messages, which also resurface content a user may have missed.
Related Photos has a few interesting characteristics. When it displays additional photos by the same author, the title line above the photo only shows the photo-owner’s first name, giving the feature an intimate feel. Other photos by the same owner are shown, though, even if they are not your friend. Similar to when users are given suggestions for people and Pages to friend or like on the home page, this aspect stimulates the formation of connections — a core strategy of Facebook’s interface design. Related Photos takes advantage of the vertical space in the right sidebar by displaying photos shot portrait style twice as large as those shot landscape style. Lastly, photos are sometimes accompanied by one of their comments, adding context that shows the photo was interesting to others as well.
Photos have been a key way for Facebook to increase user engagement on the site, and this interface should help make the in-house application even more interesting to users.
Thanks for the tip, BrandGlue