September 17, 2010

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Please take note – as of Oct 19, Facebook has changed things on us again, removing the obscure link that I mention in this post. So it doesn’t work this way anymore. We’ll just have to wait and see where and when it resurfaces again.

I’m leaving this post up, since there is an interesting discussion on displaying photographs on Facebook, and possible issues this may raise for photographers.

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Facebook tips – checking recent comments

Some will already know this, but in telling a few friends about this, none knew about this … so I’d like to share it here. Also, Facebook keeps changing things on us, so it is quite likely then that many Facebook users haven’t noticed this yet.

If you have a Facebook fan page for your photography (or any other subject really), people can leave comments to the photographs. But quite often it will be a comment on a photograph posted a few weeks or months back. It’s an impossible task to trawl through them all every time and make sure you’ve replied to those you need to reply to. I try to be diligent about it, and always make an effort to reply where necessary.

Then a few weeks ago I noticed a neat little link on the FB fan page … when you click on the Photos tab, you will see a link that says “view comments”. When you click on this, then you will see a list of photos with their comments, ordered by the date the latest comment was made.

An easy way to catch up every day or so with new comments, and keeping a conversation going with your audience / clients.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gracious September 18, 2010 at 4:39 am

Hi Neil,

I was going through your facebook page and I noticed that the images you uploaded here looks a bit “grainy”(hope you know what I mean). I had similar problems when I upload an image(FX) without resizing it to around 719px!

Thankyou for this post.

Gracious

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2 Neil vN September 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

Gracious, when you say “here”, do you mean the Tangents blog or my FB photography page?

I resize for 720px wide when uploading to Facebook, as suggested by Facebook, and noted by Mashable’s guide to Facebook

Neil vN

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3 Amanda September 18, 2010 at 11:08 am

yeah, this helps Neil. I was having the same problem that I saw a post that I never replied to from two weeks ago because it was buried. Thx!

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4 Sheri J September 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm

thanks for that tip, I hadn’t seen that before and I missed some comments from almost a month ago….. ooops!

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5 Linda September 18, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Thanks for the tip!! I would have never known!

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6 Brenton September 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I’ve been tearing my hair out about this, seemed like such an obvious omission, still not the most obvious or effective solution but it does the job.
On a side, love the site have learnt so much, people are always looking at me funny when the flash isn’t pointing at the subject! Keep up the awesome posts and work and come to Australia!

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7 Barrie Spence September 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Another deficiency with a fan or business page is that there is no notification when someone comments on wall postings either. I’ve noticed, but haven’t really tried myself yet, that some owners “like” the items themselves – I’m guessing that involves you personally and then you see notifications for comments, etc.

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8 Neil vN September 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Barrie … aaah! Now I understand why some people ‘like’ everyone of their own posts on Facebook. It just seemed silly. Now it makes sense.

Neil vN

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9 Stephen September 19, 2010 at 9:47 am

Awesome! Thanks for the tip. This has been driving me nutsy!

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10 Gracious September 19, 2010 at 11:36 am

Hi Neil,

Sorry for the confusion I caused(thinking in German and writing in English isn’t such a good idea)

I was talking about your facebook page! The images on your Tangents page looks brilliant. I just double checked it again and noticed that its only on the last two albums(M+M & K&T)

Sorry if I’m bugging you with this, after all the valuable knowledge you share with us(which is a blessing for someone like me)I wanted to do something in return, ok this was my way of doing it :))

Gracious

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11 Neil vN September 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Gracious .. I must say that I can’t see the grainy images that you’re referring to. Email me the link to the specific images where you see it? Thanks.

Neil vN

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12 Aaron September 19, 2010 at 10:38 pm

So whats your stance on uploading to Facebook? You do realize that by uploading a picture to Facebook, you are releasing the rights to the picture. They can turn around and sell it to whomever they want.

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13 Bob September 19, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Neil, it is surprising that a pro like you would be giving away pics to FB for free? FB owns the rights of everything you post on it.

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14 Neil vN September 20, 2010 at 1:08 am

Interesting that two comments pop up within minutes of each other, covering the same area.

As egregious as Facebook’s terms of use may be (or appear to be), this is tempered for me by a few things, of which the most important two points are:

1. They don’t have a model release in order to actually sell images depicting people. That’s a storm that will be unleashed if it could be proven they actually sold the use of an image showing someone recognizable. Anyway, their terms of use don’t mention “sell it to whomever they want”.

Neither do they “own the rights of everything I post”. They can’t sell an image to which you own the copyright.

“You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.”

I own the content. Facebook says that. Currently anyway. They seem to want to push the boundaries on these things. So we’ll have to see where it is headed. But they do seem to grudgingly listen to massive response by their users like the recent massive backlash about privacy. But again, they do seem to want to push the boundaries.

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

I don’t see “sub-licensing” to mean selling. I see it that they are keeping their options open. As an example, I can see that this would allow them to create off-shoot sites, or something similar. It’s open-ended for future ideas and expansion. Wise of them.

So there is a lot of paranoia about Facebook. For good reason perhaps.

But this brings me to point #2 as to why I use Facebook …

2. Right now, Facebook is the strongest marketing tool available to you. And ultimately, as a working photographer, I have to make a living. That includes building and promoting my business.

So you might choose not to use Facebook. Great. The rest of us thank you then for making it easier for us to market ourselves. The debate about Facebook’s intrusive rights is theoretical to me .. whereas making contact with potential clients means actual $$ in my pocket.

In that sense then, I have much more to gain in using Facebook, compared to maybe maybe getting to the potentially unfortunate scenario where they use one or more of my images in a way that isn’t appropriate.

Neil vN

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15 Bob September 20, 2010 at 2:57 am

no, FB can’t sell your stuff, but they have in the past used user photos in ads, etc, including the infamous dating ads.

in that sense how would your clients feel, if they found their wedding portrait cut out and placed in a singles ad?

FB said they wouldn’t do /that/ again after a huge backlash, but could you handle such a backlash when mother-in-law sees son-in-law in such an ad, causes a huge stir, and the couple then ask you for answers?

who knows what FB will think of next?

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16 Neil vN September 20, 2010 at 3:05 am

Bob .. can you give a link to the event you describe there? Re Facebook and dating adverts?

I had a look in the Wikipedia entry on Criticism Of Facebook, but didn’t see any mention of it.

But to answer you specifically about what my clients would say … I only post their images on Facebook with their permission. So it isn’t a liberty that *I* took with their images. That’s as much answer as I need to give them if this situation ever did come up.

Neil vN

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17 Pierre Kitney September 20, 2010 at 9:42 am

Neil, You have no idea how dumb I felt when I read this :)
I have been so annoyed by this very thing for a while now. Thank you for sharing this as it will now make my life easier.
What I did was tag myself in the photos then you will also get notified.
I am also very confused that there is no notification system for the wall on a FB page. Means I have to go and check every day to see if anybody left any messages or even SPAM.
Pierre

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18 Stephen September 20, 2010 at 11:42 am

Neil,
I think the infamous dating ad came from this incident.

See these articles:
http://mashable.com/2009/07/17/facebook-dating-ads-2/
http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyinvesting/news/facebook-stealing-your-face

Third-party advertisers will have access to your profile information if your application settings permit it. I do not know if third-party advertisers are allowed to access other user content, but the data is there for the taking at any time. Technically, it is not Facebook’s fault. Facebook does allow the user to change privacy settings, but the default setting is public (to favor advertisers). Most users think the default setting is private, which is incorrect.

So, it could be a problem if a client uses one of your wedding picture in the profile picture, and a third-party misappropriates it for an advertisement.

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19 Neil vN September 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Gracious .. I see it now. There is pixelization in the images. I’m not sure why though. I resized for 700 px wide, and the images didn’t resize in Facebook. They are still 700 px wide.

Does anyone have an idea about this?

Neil vN

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20 Stephen September 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Neil,
According to the Facebook API documentation, the largest dimension should be 720 pixels on the long side. Further internet research indicates the maximum dimensions are 720px x 400px at 72 PPI.

Also, Facebook performs image compression (and possible resizing if the image dimensions or aspect ratio is too large) on the uploaded image, which can result in pixelation of images.

You can reduce the severity of the problems by pre-emptively resizing and saving the image on your machine to closely or exactly match Facebook’s specifications and then uploading the file to Facebook.

See this article by another photographer. Although it’s a year old, Facebook seems not to have changed the image compression or resizing algorithms by very much.

http://www.balancedigital.com/blog/?p=89

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21 Stephen September 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Correction: the shorter side’s maximum is approximately 480px.

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22 Neil vN September 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Also, you said 72ppi ?

Neil vN

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23 Stephen September 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Neil,
Yes, I said 72ppi. I’m only the messenger here. :-)
It’s what Facebook does to the image, even though ppi doesn’t matter to an image displayed on a monitor.

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24 Babs September 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

According to the FB API, any app had access to ALL content of the user whether private or public. FB later added privacy settings so that you can set so your friends’ apps can’t access your content that the friend could see. I’m not sure about your own apps tho.

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25 Stephen October 3, 2010 at 10:16 am

Neil,
It appears that Facebook is rolling out changes to its image upload tool. Eventually, you can upload up to 2048 pixel width images.
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Web-Services-Web-20-and-SOA/Facebook-Photos-Go-HighResolution-Get-Batch-Tagging-255702/

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26 yunice October 20, 2010 at 12:46 am

i can’t find the “View Comments” on the “Photos” tab.

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27 Neil vN October 20, 2010 at 7:27 am

Yunice … I noticed last night that Facebook changed things on us again. So now I’m waiting to see where this will pop up again … if it does.

Neil vN

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28 Gracious December 1, 2010 at 5:05 am

Hi Neil,

Its nice that facebook allows you to upload highresolution images but it takes forever to upload, I noticed….

I was one of them who resized images one by one to match FB, but it sucks! Now I found a easier way to solve this problem. I use Lightroom to creat gallerys for my homepage and I noticed that the images created/resized by lightroom not only looks good but also less heavy(file). So I tried uploading the images resized by Lightroom on facebook and my trouble days are over!!! It uploads 10 times faster and the quality is just great. Its worth a try…..

Gracious

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