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Ten Tips for Sharing Pictures on Facebook

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Facebook is one of the Internet’s top photo sharing sites; hundreds of millions of people use Facebook to share pictures with friends and family. In this article, author Michael Miller shares ten useful tips to help you more easily share your photos on the Facebook site.

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More and more people are uploading pictures to Facebook, to share with their friends and family. Uploading a picture from your computer or smartphone is relatively easy; just click a button to add a photo to any regular status update.

There are things you can do, however, to enhance the photo sharing process on Facebook. To that end, here are ten tips you can use to better share your photos with your Facebook friends.

Tip #1: Upload Your Photos in High Resolution

By default, your Facebook photos are uploaded in relatively low resolution -- a maximum of 960 x 720 pixels. That’s fine if someone’s viewing your photos on a computer monitor or smartphone screen,

However, if someone wants to download your photos for printing, Facebook’s default resolution simply isn’t good enough. You shot your photos using a multi-megapixel camera; why not have all those pixels available to interested friends and family?

Fortunately, Facebook offers an option to upload your photos in high resolution for a better download experience. Uploading in high resolution – what Facebook dubs the High Quality option – creates a version of your photo up to 2048 x 2048 pixels, considerably more detailed than the default 960 x 720 pixel version.

When you select the High Quality option, Facebook creates two versions of your photo on its servers. There’s the 960 x 720 pixel (max) version for online viewing, and the new 2048 x 2048 pixel (max) version for downloading. Note that uploading in High Quality does not affect the quality of pictures displayed onscreen; the High Quality version is only accessed when someone opts to download your photo.

To upload a higher-resolution version of a photo, check the High Quality option at the bottom of the photo upload page. When you select High Quality for an entire photo album, all photos you upload to that album will be at the higher resolution.

Figure 1 Check the High Quality option to upload a photo in high resolution

Note that High Quality uploading takes longer than uploading standard-resolution photos; there’s more detail to upload. The extra upload time is worth it, however, if you want your friends to be able to download and print good-looking versions of your photos.

Tip #2: Download Photos from Facebook to Your Own PC

As you just learned, you can upload your photos in high resolution for your friends to download. But how do you and your friends download photos from Facebook?

It’s really quite easy. Navigate to the photo in question and click it to display it in the Facebook lightbox. Click Options then select Download. You’ll now be prompted to select a download location. That’s it; the picture is now downloaded to your computer.

Figure 2 Downloading a picture from Facebook

Any picture you download can then be viewed on your own PC. You can then print the photo on your home printer, or send it to a photo processing service for professional-quality prints.

Tip #3: Map Your Photos

You may already know that you can add a location to any photo you upload to Facebook. Just click the Add Location icon beneath the picture thumbnail and enter the name of the location into the Where Was This? box; it’s that simple. You can add the location when you first upload the picture, or at any subsequent time by editing the photo.

When you add a location to a photo, it appears on the map that’s displayed when someone selects Places on your Timeline page. The map has pins for each place you’ve either checked into or taken a picture at. Click a pin to see a panel for updates and photos; click the left and right arrow to cycle through all photos at that location.

If you want to add more photos to your map, simply display the map page then click the Add Places button. This displays a reel of your untagged photos. Click a photo and then enter the location where it was taken. It will then automatically be added to your map.

Figure 3 Adding more photos to your Facebook location map

Tip #4: Organize Your Photos in Albums

You know how easy it is to upload a photo as part of a status update. Just click the camera icon and select the photo(s) to include.

The problem with uploading photos in this fashion is that they’re not easily findable after the status updates have scrolled off your friends’ News feeds. All status update photos are dumped into a large Timeline Photos album, which can include anything and everything you’ve shot.

It’s a lot more thoughtful to organize your photos by topic, location, or date, which you can do by creating separate photo albums. This way your friends can go to your Photos page, find the appropriate album, and then view just those photos within that album. By organizing your photos in this fashion you make it a lot easier for people to find the photos they want -- or just to browse through similar photos.

For example, you could create albums by date -- June 2013, July 2013, August 2013, and so forth. Or you could organize your albums by location -- Home, California, Florida, and so forth. Another approach is to organize albums by subject -- Kids Sports, Vacations, Holidays, and such.

What types of albums you create is totally up to you. To create a new album, go to your Timeline page and click Photos. When the Photos page appears, click Albums, then click Create New Album. From there you choose the photos to upload to the new album, and then give the album a name and description. Uploading future photos to that existing album is as simple as opening the album and then clicking the Add Photos button.

Figure 4 Viewing photos albums — and creating a new one

Tip #5: Share Different Photo Albums with Different People

Another good reason to organize your Facebook photos into albums is that you can set different privacy levels for each album. That lets you select who can see which photos -- and effectively hide certain types of photos from certain people.

Think of it this way. You may have a ton of photos of your kids or grandkids that your family wants to see but are of little interest to your co-workers or neighbors. You may have photos of your local activities that your neighbors want to see but distant family isn’t interested in. And you may have work-related photos of interest to your colleagues that your family and neighbors would find boring.

The solution is to first create relevant photo albums, and then set the appropriate privacy levels for each album. You do this by clicking the Privacy button on the photo album page and making a selection from the drop-down list.

Figure 5 Determining who can view a Facebook photo album

You’re not limited to Facebook’s default Public, Friends, and Only Me options, either; use the Custom option to select individuals who can view or not view each album. Even better, create custom friends lists for your work colleagues, close family, neighbors, and such. You can then select a specific friends list to view the contents of any given photo album.

Tip #6: Tag People in Your Photos

Most photos you upload to Facebook have people in them -- friends and family members, in most cases. Facebook lets you tag those people who appear in your photos, so that the photos will also show up in those folks’ Facebook photo pages.

In fact, Facebook uses facial recognition technology to suggest who to tag when you upload a photo. Facebook compares faces in your photos to faces of its users, and suggests those names for you to tag. It doesn’t always get it right, but it’s a place to start.

When you upload a photo to a photo album, Facebook puts a box around each face in the photo. Click the face or box to display the tagging box, then enter the name of that person into the box. If that person is one of your Facebook friends, you’ll see a list of matching names as you type; select a name from this list to tag that person.

Figure 6 Tagging a person in a Facebook photo

While Facebook encourages photo tagging, you need to be sensitive to your friends desires – especially if a friend might not want to be tagged in a given photo. Imagine a picture taken at a wild party, with many well-oiled revelers in the shot. Your inebriated friends might not appreciate their drunken visages being splashed across their Facebook Timelines. In cases like this, anonymity might be preferred – so don’t tag anybody. Tagging is strictly optional, and done at your discretion.

Tip #7: Reposition Photos on Your Timeline

All the photos you include in your Facebook status updates are displayed on your Timeline page. Unfortunately, the photos on your Timeline are square, and most of your photos aren’t. Facebook attempts to crop each photo to best effect, but doesn’t always get it right. The end result might be a Timeline photo that doesn’t include the desired subject of the picture.

Fortunately, Facebook lets you crop each individual photo on your Timeline. This way you can ensure that your friends see the best possible representation of each photo you’ve uploaded.

To crop a photo on your Timeline, open your Timeline page, scroll to the picture in question, and mouse over it to display the Edit (pencil) icon. Click the Edit icon and then select Reposition Photo. Use your mouse to click and drag the photo to a better position, then click the Save button.

Figure 7 Repositioning a photo on your Facebook Timeline

Tip #8: Share a Friend’s Photo On Your Own Timeline

Sometimes a friend or family member might post a photo that your Facebook friends could be interested in. Fortunately, Facebook lets you share your friends’ photos on your own Timeline, and in your own News feed, so your friends can view them, too.

If the photo you want to share is in a friend’s status update, click the Share link beneath the photo. To share a photo that a friend has uploaded to a photo album, open the album and click the photo to display it in a lightbox, then click Share.

This opens the Share This Photo dialog box. Make sure On Your Own Timeline is selected, then enter a text message to accompany the photo. Click the Privacy button to determine who can view this post, then click the Share Photo button. Voila! The photo is now posted to your Timeline and News feed.

Figure 8 Sharing a friend's photo on your Timeline

Tip #9: Post to Facebook via Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular mobile phone apps. It’s used to take pictures with iPhones and Androids, doctor up those pics with all sorts of fancy filters, and then share them socially with friends.

If you’re an Instagram user, you’re not limited to sharing via Instagram’s own social network. You can also upload your Instagram photos to your Facebook feed.

To do this, you first have to link your Instagram account to your Facebook account. Open Instagram on your phone, go to your profile screen, and tap the Options button at the top right. On the Options page, scroll to and tap Share Settings. On the next page, tap Facebook, then follow the onscreen instructions to enter your Facebook username and password.

After you take a new photo with Instagram, move through the Edit screen to the Share screen. Click Facebook in the Share section, enter a short text message, and then click the green Share button. Your photo is now uploaded to the Instagram album on Facebook and posted to your News feed and Timeline.

Figure 9 Sharing an Instagram photo to Facebook

Tip #10: Upload Photos Directly from Your iPhone

If you’re the proud own of an Apple iPhone, you can easily post photos directly from your phone to your Facebook feed. One way to do this is from the iPhone’s Facebook app; you can also post from Facebook’s mobile website, via the iPhone’s Safari web browser.

But there’s an even easier way to shoot a photo and then post it to Facebook. Apple has added Facebook support directly to the iPhone’s operating system, so Facebook posting is now an option whenever you use your iPhone’s Camera app to shoot a photo.

Start by opening the Camera app and shooting your photo. Display the new photo and click the Share button at the bottom of the screen. From the next screen, tap the Facebook icon to display a new status update screen. Enter any accompanying text message, add your location, and set the privacy level, then tap the Post button. The photo is now posted to your Facebook feed and Timeline.

Figure 10 Posting to Facebook from the iPhone's Camera app

By the way, you can use this approach to upload any photo in your iPhone’s Camera Roll to Facebook. Just open the photo and go from there.

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