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Bigger Facebook photos? Who needs ’em?

An Argument Against Digital Progress

by Mark WhittakerThumbs Down illustration

It’s time to put my curmudgeonly foot down.

Do we really need to see larger versions of photos on Facebook? The fine folks at Zuckerbergland think so. Last week they enabled photos viewed in two browsers, the latest version of Firefox and Chrome, to expand to a full-screen view.

If you use either of those browsers, a double arrow will appear in the upper right of a photo when you mouse over it. I’m sure the feature will be enabled soon for those other little-used growers, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Great. I need to add even more clicks to my Facebook time. (Are you catching the sarcasm here?)

Not only that, most of the photos on Facebook aren’t that great to begin with, and if you blow them up even more, they look worse. And have you noticed that at least half of the photos posted by your Facebook friends are more like posters with cutesy catch phrases like “Tomorrow’s another day,” or “Failure is just another step toward success.”?

Example of Facebook photo enlarge toolAnother quarter of all Facebook photos are pictures of cats in awkward positions or doing stupid things (I’m allowed to be critical. My wife and I have six cats, and she’s taken so many cat photos the iCloud is ready to burst). Do we really need to see bigger versions of those things?

As for the rest of the photos on Facebook, it’s hard enough to see what’s going on, and I’m thinking I don’t really want to blow up the photos to take a closer look.

The least Facebook could do is improve the photo-editing tools, of course that might be a bit like putting lipstick on a bigger pig. I’m guessing those tools will come along eventually so that you won’t have to spend time sharing photos through other sites like Flickr and Picasa.

I’m sure lots of folks will love the bigger photo display, but it’s not something I need from Facebook.


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