Facebook is overhauling how its photo albums work to let users drop in virtually any post from the social network to save for posterity. This includes of course photos and videos, but now text posts and check-ins as well. The company is also making it easier to add friends as contributors to create shared albums, and adding the ability to display a “featured album” prominently on your profile. The idea is to turn the sometimes forgotten photo albums feature into a way to store memories of all types.
Some users may be hesitant to store photos on Facebook that are not being deliberately edited and shared to a wider audience, as opposed to somewhere slightly more private like Google Photos or more curated like Instagram. Facebook it seems recognizes this, and the company wants users to think of albums as a place to dump scraps of daily life with a focus on which friends were involved and what you were doing with them.
This could also be seen as a way to make Facebook sharing more casual, in the vein of Snapchat, especially given the success of the more lightweight and well designed Instagram Stories feature that disappears photos and videos after just 24 hours. With these updates, Facebook will now even let you subscribe to a friend’s album to receive notifications when updates are added, making it more of a personalized feed within the broader app itself. The company says the feature will be rolling out on the Android and desktop versions of Facebook starting today, with iOS coming later.