What you need to know about archiving your most important photos on Facebook
Facebook is a great place to quickly share photos, create shared albums, and tag photos of friends. However, it's not the best place to archive your most important, treasured photos. That's because photos posted to Facebook have limited maximum size and resolution.
Most photos uploaded to Facebook from a smartphone or digital camera will be reduced in size. Facebook photos have a maximum size of 2048 x 2048 pixels.
That's a large image, but it's still smaller than most smartphone photos. For example, photos from the iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, 6 and 6s have a native 3264 x 2448 resolution.
Even iPhone 4 and iPod touch take 2592 x 1936 photos.
Meanwhile, photos from a 12 megapixel point and shoot or DSLR camera (the one you use to capture special occasions) are much larger than Facebook's maximum size image.
Not only are images cropped by Facebook, they're also heavily compressed. The maximum image size Facebook allows before compression is 100 KB.
Because of our work with Notabli,
we’ve had to think a lot
about how to efficiently store and organize digital photos.
It's absolutely understandable that Facebook uses lousy image compression. With 350 million new photos uploaded each day, compression is necessary to keep Facebook's free service up and running efficiently.
Also, Facebook doesn't promote pristine photo archiving as a primary benefit; they're focused on a social experience.
Notabli's focus is helping parents save and organize their kid's moments. Photos are by far the most popular type of moment saved to Notabli.
Kid photos are irreplaceable. They also have lastingness; they're looked at for years, decades and even generations after they're originally snapped. People print them. They look at them on ever higher-resolution digital screens.
Once a digital image is compressed, that's it - the lost data is irretrievable. In most cases, that's fine. But we decided that we simply can't crop or compress the irreplaceable photos of kids that parents save to Notabli.
I'm not bashing Facebook. I use it every day. And I'm not simply trying to promote Notabli. There are many other ways to backup and organize digital photos without cropping them or losing resolution.
However, it's important to remind people not to rely on Facebook for archiving their most important photos. Especially the photos they'll want to refer to long into the future.