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Facebook Rips Off Google+ with New Photo Display

It seems that nothing on Facebook stays the same. After the controversial switch to Timeline with the elimination of the infamous Wall, Facebook is working on a new way to display photos that is alarmingly similar to the way Google+ displays photos.

We’re Going Through Changes

Currently, when a user clicks on a photo on Facebook, the photo appears in the middle of the screen and the existing Facebook page becomes opaque. Below the photo, users can see the title of the photo, what friends are tagged, how many likes and shares it has, and all of the comments. Here, emphasis is clearly placed on the photo and not on how users are interacting with it.

In the presumed impending update, the photo will display much in the same fashion, except all of the photo’s information, comments, and other user data will be situated on the right side of the photo, as opposed to below it. In this new format, emphasis is still on the photo, but there is definitely an increased encouragement to start conversing. No longer are the comments hidden below the fold, they are clearly shown, ready to be read and responded to.

This certainly is a good design that should inspire more engagement with the photo-sharing aspect of Facebook, which in my opinion has been somewhat neglected. However, having said that, the design isn’t unique and was obviously very heavily inspired by Google+’s photo viewer. When I say “heavily inspired,” I mean it’s basically identical, excluding the branding.

Facebook surely hasn’t been coy in the past about launching new features or formats that closely mimic their biggest competitors. For example, the relatively new Subscribe features functions like the one-way following on Twitter and adding to circles on Google+. Additionally, video-chatting appeared on Google+ before Facebook, and Facebook was even rumored to have developed photo-editing tools similar to Instagram.

Not The Only Social Network

But, Facebook isn’t the only social network to find inspiration from other sites: what do you think motivated Google to create Google+ in the first place, and what site does Google+ function almost identically to? Facebook.

Regardless, this back-and-forth imitation and compeition comes with no consequences for users, as it ultimately produces more innovation (if you can call it that) and a better experience for all. As for the updated photo display, it is unknown when it will launch. When it does though, users will appreciate the greater discussion and interaction with their photos. On Facebook and their soon-to-be stock holder’s side, they’ll like the increased engagement with the site. So, in the end, the result is win-win.

Paul works over at kitchen cabinet website Cliq Studios sellers of fine painted kitchen cabinetry. Paul works in marketing but is an big fan of technology and social networking, if you didn’t notice from the post!

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2 Replies

  1. Seeing big photos is nothing to me I still stick to Google+.

  2. Vernette Carbon Mar 7th 2012

    Thanks for your discussion. I learned a lot on your topic and it made me realize many learning. Thanks for the share and keep on posting!

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