Since joining Facebook way back in the day, I have always been curious about the pixel limit they set for photographs. At this stage, the longest edge is limited to 604 pixels. This works into their UI.
As a photographer with a lot of photos on Facebook, I have developed my own Lightroom export preset to match this limit and allow for sharpening etc. I am resigned to the fact that no picture I have on Facebook will ever be a higher resolution.
Or will it?
[UPDATED] Thanks to Facebook’s Kevin Fox for pointing me to http://developers.facebook.com/live_status.php#msg_541. Facebook is rolling out an update over the next few weeks that will increase the maximum pixel size to 720. This move is not retroactive. This is still short of the 1024 pixels of the iPad but is a promising move for the largest photo sharing site in the world. [/UPDATED]
With the announcement of Apple’s iPad, and the success of the Facebook app for iPhones and iPods, this has raised a question regarding pixel resolution and the full screen display of photos from said Facebook app.
Currently, the resolution of the iPhone/iPod is 480 x 320 pixels. This is fine as the Facebook app down samples the picture to meet this resolution.
The issue I see is that the reported resolution of the iPad is 1024 x 768 pixels. This would mean that the current pixel restriction of 604 pixels (longest edge) is less than half of that. This would cause the Facebook app to up sample the picture to twice it’s size.
I have produced an approximate up sample example in Photoshop to demonstrate:
This is important as I like to display and browse photos using the app’s full screen mode. The question the is: Will Facebook’s iPad app display in full screen, the 604 pixel size with black bars around the sides or does Facebook keep higher resolution copies of all photos uploaded?
Knowing the importance of the Facebook app to sales of the iPhone (it has sold more iPhones to my friends than I care to mention) this is something that should be address before the 60 days are up.
[Please note, Johnny is quite prepared to be wrong or not understand pixels. Plus correct him on Twitter @jworthington as, alas, the spam bots are pwn'ing my blog. Anti-Apple people need not apply, this is a Facebook issue]