Facebook is great, not only for allowing friends to keep in touch with each other, or to make contact with old friends after many years, but because it also allows users to share links, videos and pictures. The photo album concept Facebook uses is nice, but sometimes it can be a bit cumbersome, constantly clicking through pictures in order to see the full-sized version. For Google Chrome users, an extension exists (called Facebook Photo Zoom), that takes away a few of the clicks, and makes browsing Facebook pictures fast and easy.
After installing Facebook Photo Zoom, you’ll notice a new icon down by where the chat client is controlled. Hovering over the new icon should show a pop-up that indicates whether Facebook Photo Zoom is turned on or off. Simply clicking it will toggle its state from one to the other. Other than that, Facebook Photo Zoom has no interface, so using it is a very organic, very natural process.
When you visit a photo album page, you don’t need to click on a picture in order to get the large view. This is nice because using Facebook photo albums the “normal” way, you then need to click each time you want to view another large photo, which then loads. With Facebook Photo Zoom, you never actually need to click, until you want to view another page of thumbnail images.
How Facebook Photo Zoom works is like this: go to a photo album page, then hover your mouse over the thumbnail of a photo. That’s it! Instead of clicking to view the large photo, the large photo is loaded in place, and then follows your mouse until you hover over a different thumbnail image. It’s really easy to use. (It wasn’t so simple to show how efficient this is by taking a screenshot, but at least the effect of the hovering full-sized image should be clear.)
Sometimes, of course, having all these photos popping up whenever you hover your mouse over them can be annoying. When you’re simply moving your mouse from one side of the window to the other, or when moving from one row of pictures to the other, it can slow you down when larger, unwanted images keep popping up. In those instances, it’s simple to turn off, by clicking the icon again. Problem solved.
In my mind, the automatic zoom effect Facebook Photo Zoom provides would be a fantastic addition to the standard Facebook interface. Not that it needs to be the default photo album viewing mode, but having it as an option would be nice. Facebook Photo Zoom reduces by far the number of clicks necessary to view full-sized images, is incredibly easy to use, and doesn’t require any setup or configuration. Just install it, turn it on, and you’re immediately ready to go.
Facebook Photo Zoom is the kind of extension I really like. Actually, there are a lot of extensions I think are great and that add nice functionality, but extensions like Facebook Photo Zoom don’t need any real input from me, and there is definitely no learning curve. Install and go, and take advantage of the new features the extension provides. Those are the best kind of web browser addons, and Facebook Photo Zoom only makes Google Chrome, and Facebook, better.