Last week we looked at uploading your images to Facebook, to share them with the world. Whilst you are waiting for your pictures to upload – and this could be quite a while if you are uploading a bunch of high quality images – Facebook encourages you to add some metadata and assemble them into an album. Facebook photo albums work similarly to those in real life, in that you might use them to collect together a bunch of images from a particular occasion or location or holiday, you can use them however you like really.
Organising your Facebook photos into albums is also a useful way to get your privacy settings sorted at the album level, rather than for each individual picture. Your basic options are the same as for every other piece of content you might wish to share on Facebook: Friends, Friends of Friends and Public – with the same option to customise, if you want to apply list permissions, or restrict from certain individuals.
Once you have set that permission for the album (which in most cases is easier to do via your main browser rather than a mobile app), they affect the album contents globally, including content added in future.
For example I have an album ‘Family Photos 2013’, which is set to a fairly limited audience, and I have another called ‘Denia and our local area’ which is more widely available to anyone searching for info about the place we live, which I am keen to help promote publicly in a positive way (and lends itself to some very pretty imagery and making a highly amateurish photographer, me, sometimes create some beautiful shots). If I take a picture of a the kids at a local fiesta I can decide whether I think it’s identifiably my children and really part of the family story, or if I am happy to regard it as some kids having fun and largely concealed behind masks and candyfloss anyway, nicely contextualising a shot of the Fallas.
If you think this all sounds a bit pedantic, consider: anyone your photo is shared with, ie in the audience for that photo, can not only view it but they can download it too. A simple click and it’s on their hard drive forever. That is why photos of my kids are not in public albums – because public means ‘shared with the 1bn other users of Facebook’, any of whom can search for you by name. In order to bring my photo art and local pictures to a wider audience I obviously risk someone stealing my personal rights as the creator of the image, but that’s a risk I don’t mind taking. Photos of my kids on the beach on some stranger’s hard drive? No thank you.
Incidentally before you create any photo albums of your own on Facebook, you already have a number of defaults. Your profile pictures group into an album automatically, as do your cover pictures. Any photos that you upload directly into a status update are automatically added to an album called ‘Timeline Photos’ as well (this used to be ‘Wall Photos’ in the pre 2011 Facebook layout).
There is also a default ‘mobile uploads’ album, and possibly others created by different devices you may upload from, for example your iPad creates an album called ‘iOS photos’. You will also find that lots of photo manipulation apps like Snapseed, MySketch etc, attempt to create albums for you – but remember you can choose where to upload your photos to and it might be a lot more meaningful to you to add your lovely filtered and stylised portrait to your family album or your framed and antiqued panorama to the album relating to the holiday where you snapped it.
Once your photos are in albums they are effectively ‘in one place’ and just like a physical photo album you can pass them around as a single item. Entering your photos area via the button under your cover picture or by clicking ‘photos’ on the main left navigation, select the album you want to share, and you will see buttons at the top where you can ‘add photo’ – pretty self explanatory, upload straight into that album – and edit (where you can caption, alter the audience, even the title of the album), next to that however you can click the little cog icon and select ‘get link’. You can then use that link to share the album with friends or even people off Facebook altogether. This all depends on your audience settings though because if you have that set to ‘friends only’ and then you share the album say in a local Facebook group, all your non-friends will see is an ‘attachment unavailable’ link.
You can use this link to share an album for a specific purpose too very easily, such as if you have taken a bunch of snaps of an apartment you have for sale, and you want to share that on various local Facebook groups – just use the ‘get link’ button, so you can share all the snaps in a single post.
Want to move a picture to a different album? Facebook makes this annoyingly difficult for some reason, you have to go into the ‘edit’ settings on the album itself, then you can hover in the top right corner of each photo and a little menu will drop down offering you options including ‘move to another album’. If you don’t see that option you are probably still just in the album itself and still need to go into the ‘edit’ state, which is the button next to ‘Add photos’ top right in the album view – if I had designed Facebook this would be a lot clearer. What this means is of course you can go through and do periodic housekeeping on all those ‘mobile upload’ photos if you want to, move them into your albums grouped by theme or date or occasion, regardless of which device or app sent them to Facebook in the first place.
Enjoy experimenting with your photo albums on Facebook!
Costa Connected, for Costa Blanca News, June 7th 2013