Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Do We Need a Better Way to View Facebook Photos?

The average Facebook user has access to more than 100,000 photos taken of or shared by their friends, according to a sample taken by startup Pixable. But the only way to view them is by scrolling through albums or tabbing through tags of people.

So Pixable has endeavored to create a slideshow application called “Photofeed” that gives users a way to search and sort through photos, and see which of them are most popular.

New York City-based Pixable’s secret sauce relies on users allowing its application deep access to their Facebook profiles, so it can look for factors like whether a user has historically “liked” a friend’s photos, whether they’ve attended events together, and whether they share a last name. Then it ranks and sorts photos into large-format slideshows.

Unfortunately, in my very brief usage so far, the Photofeed app was rather unpolished, but I do think there’s an interesting opportunity for someone to develop alternatives to the Facebook album format. However, I’d imagine Facebook itself would have a leg up if it built something natively.

Highland Capital-backed Pixable–which will de-emphasize previous photo-printing and video-creation products–may prove to have value as it extends Photofeed to other platforms, so that becomes a way to reminisce about photos scattered on various services and sites. But as Pixable CEO Inaki Berenguer points out, Facebook is the Internet’s photo juggernaut, with more than 100 million photos uploaded per day. “Every month on Facebook you build a new Flickr or Picasa,” is how Berenguer put it.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald