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Photography by Nicholas Wall

Tech Friday – What’s up with Facebook’s picture quality?


**Updated post visit here**



I post my photographs and snap shots all over the place. On my blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Foursquare, and the list goes on.  Thanks to the advent of social media, there is almost an unlimited amount of ways to post and share your photography.  But probably the two most popular ways photographers share their work is first, their website/blog, and secondly their Facebook Page.  Almost every photographer now has a Facebook Page where they display their photographs. But of the 3 major ways to share photographs via the internet (blog, Facebook, Google+), Facebook has the most pathetic quality of them all. I simply do not understand why Facebook does not fix their photo quality issue. Photographers use Facebook everyday. It is the easiest and most proactive way to market your service with Facebook's web of social connections; however, what you are sharing is not the full quality of your work. THE QUALITY OF THE UPLOADS ARE PATHETIC! I realize that the large majority of Facebook users who upload photos are only uploading snapshots and Facebook does not want to clog their servers with 4-5 MB pictures, but that’s why they introduced the"High Quality" photo option. So that way only users who need that higher quality would upload larger files. Unfortunately, clicking that check box doesn’t seem to do much of anything to the quality of the uploaded photo. See Below:


Above: Facebook screen shot (not "High Quality")


Above: Facebook screen shot ("High Quality")


Now I have read on forums and other blogs about the "perfect" pixel size to upload to Facebook. Since they resize the photos – meaning shrink – they lose quality blah, blah, blah. This may have had some truth to it before Facebook changed how they compress and modify your file. I have uploaded high quality, non-high quality, and experimented with 6 or 7 different resolution sizes based on what different internet articles suggest and I still haven't found any sort of way to achieve a level of quality that comes close to matching the original. That being said, what social media service does (within reason) keep the original quality of your upload?



I realize Google+ (at least at the moment) doesn't have anywhere near the photographer-client/potential client connection that Facebook does. That's why it is so frustrating that Facebook hasn't addressed their quality issue. But Google+ is on the rise in the social media market and man is it setup great for photographers, plus it already has a huge photography community. It was like Google+ was designed around great ways to display your photos. But going into the greatness of Google+ is a whole another topic. What I do want to share is the quality of Google+ and also the original file.


Above: Google+ screen shot


Make sure you click on the photo to view it larger. You should be able to see the difference in quality vs either Facebook upload. An easy way to see the quality difference is to look closely at the water mark at the bottom.


Above: Original Shot



Facebook picture quality is garbage. I completely understand Facebook is a free service and everyone chooses whether or not to use their service (although to be honest, Facebook is making billions of their users). But what I don't understand is, if Google+ can do it why can't Facebook? I have always said the two biggest things people use Facebook for is keeping up with friends and family in today's fast pace world, and sharing photos. And I think if they don't adapt and constantly innovate (especially with the growing presence of businesses on Facebook), their prominence may not be as long lived as many predict.