Now that Facebook Timeline is being forced upon all users, you might as well embrace the new profile format and deck your Timeline out (or quit Facebook in a fit of rage, which is easier said than done). If you’re looking to add old photos to Facebook Timeline, which displays your life story in reverse-chronological order, Shoebox for iPhone is worth checking out.
The app, which launched in November, scans print photos into digital form using the phone’s camera, and a new update available this week allows users to post photos to any point along their Facebook Timelines.
To add images with Shoebox, you snap an iPhone photo of the print picture, identify the edges and rotate as needed. (The app attempts to crop photos automatically, but you can tweak the image if need be). From within the app, you can tag friends, add descriptions and choose a date for when the photo was taken. As of the latest update, adding date info puts the image in proper chronological order on Facebook’s Timeline.
On the downside, the app doesn’t offer any way to restrict viewing of photos by group. So if you upload an embarrassing baby photo through Shoebox, everyone in your network will be able to see it. (For a workaround, you could grab the cropped photo from the phone’s camera roll, upload it through Facebook’s desktop website, and add group restrictions there.)
Also, to use Shoebox you must create an account with 1000memories, the company that created the app, and any photos you scan in get added to your account on the 1000memories website. That’s not necessarily a bad thing–you might want to have an online repository for old photos that lives outside of Facebook–but there’s no way to opt out, and it’s ultimately one more account on the Internet to keep track of. Most users will also want to flick the “Privacy” toggle just before posting images, otherwise those images will made public on the 1000memories site.
Shoebox is the first app to let Facebook users post items to any point in their Timelines. Rudy Adler, a co-founder of 1000memories, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally requested–via Facebook message–that the Shoebox team build Timeline support into the app.
Facebook wants users to extend their profiles back to the pre-Facebook era, and Shoebox provides an easy way to do it. “We really want to give those photos a second life,” Adler said in an interview. Android users, fear not: Adler said beta testing on an Android version of Shoebox begins next week, and the app could be out in a month depending on how testing goes.