If you’re a FaceBook user, you may have recently noticed that when you click on someone’s photo, a black box appears, showing the photo that you selected, rather than the photo being displayed on a new page within FaceBook. This is actually a part of some recent enhancements to FaceBook’s photo sharing experience.
Back in September of last year, FaceBook published a blog post, saying that they would be updating some things involving their photo sharing features, which included higher resolution images, a better photo viewer, as well as easier photo tagging and uploading.
However, on February 11, 2011, FaceBook posted an update to this blog post, saying that the new photo viewer would be rolling out to everyone over the next few weeks. Also, users would now be able to browse through photos faster than before and would not have to lose their place on FaceBook while doing so.
When users click on a picture now, a black frame, called a “lightbox”, will appear with the selected image in the center of it. This new feature will allow users to both view and comment on pictures without having to go to a new page, as the lightbox simply appears over the page that they’re currently on.
Also, users can view the previous and next photos in an album by clicking on arrows at either side of the image being displayed. Clicking on the image will also bring the user to the next photo in an album, like before. When users are ready to return to the page that they were on before clicking on a photo, all they need to do is click on the page in the background, or click on the “x” located at the top of the right side of the lightbox.
For more information about FaceBook’s recent photo updates, you should check out this blog post from Facebook’s blog. If you’re interested in how the new photo viewing “lightbox” was developed, you should check out this post from FaceBook’s Engineering Blog.