We’ve all been in that situation where everyone’s party photos are scattered across a half-dozen Facebook albums. Until now, Facebook hasn’t offered any easy way to combine those photos into a single collection.
According to Mashable, Facebook has begun rolling out shared photo albums to solve this problem. Users will be able to invite up to 50 “contributors” on a shared album, each of whom can upload an additional 200 photos. Those contributors can also invite other contributors if the original album creator allows it.
For privacy, the album creator can decide if photos are visible to contributors only, friends of contributors or the public. This solves another problem with Facebook albums the way they are now: If someone at an event has great photos, the only way to see them on Facebook is to befriend them. Shared albums can allow you to see event photos from other people even if you’re not friends with them.
It’s worth noting that Google+ has offered collaborative photo albums for about a year now, but only when tied to specific events that you set up on the network. There’s no way to create a standalone photo album to which other people can contribute. (Conversely, Facebook doesn’t let multiple people contribute to photo albums on its own events pages.)
It’s unclear when shared albums will be available to all users. Mashable only says the feature began rolling out to a small group of English users on Monday, and TechCrunch reports that it’ll only be available on the desktop website at first. Facebook’s news page makes no mention of the feature, so it could be a while before it’s ready for everyone.