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Facebook Photos gets a resolution boost and new viewer

The Facebook Photos service has always been a bit limited when compared with competitors like Flickr due to a hard and fast limit of 720 pixels maximum resolution. Thankfully, that limitation has been lifted thanks to an overhaul that includes a new photo viewer and an improved upload and tagging engine. Photos uploaded to the world's largest social network can now be up to 2048 pixels at their longest edge (that's 3.1MP for those keeping count). That's a boon for anyone who's tried to print photos from Facebook in the past.

The improved photo viewer is noticeably faster and smoother, and the whole viewing experience is handled by a 'lightbox' style slide-show app that has dedicated previous and next buttons along the sides. It's a vast improvement from the older on-page viewer, and it reduces the number of page refreshes needed.

Uploading and tagging multiple people has also been made a lot easier with a completely rebuilt Flash photo upload tool that boasts the elusive 'High Res' option. Facebook has tried to make batch tagging easier for things like multiple group photos, but it's still one of those labors of love -- maybe it'll be a little less onerous now, though.

With rollout of the Photos enhancement commencing this month, Facebook's included some higher resolution photos from National Geographic and Sports Illustrated to demonstrate the new Photos app. We're still on the old Photos app, so if you're lucky enough to be in the first wave, fire off in the comments and give us your impressions.

Tags: facebook, National Geographic, NationalGeographic, photo gallery, PhotoGallery, photos, social media, social network, social networking, social-networking, SocialMedia, SocialNetwork, SocialNetworking, sports illustrated, SportsIllustrated