Monday, December 3, 2012

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Ventures into Cloud Storage with Rollout of Mobile Photo Sync Background Uploads

Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) is trying to re-establish itself as a storage locker. They can save images you don’t publish and the Photo Sync background uploads feature has already been rolled out to users on 30th November after it has been tested on Android for quite some time. If it can tackle upload friction, they will get loads of photos and will also pull in lots of juicy photo metadata to aid its ads business.

Users can activate the feature via a “Sync” button below the photos in their primary Facebook for iOS or Android app. Once turned on, it will automatically upload all images you take to a private folder. The Photos section can be selected from the navigation menu on the app and then the Synced section can be accessed or it can be done from the Synced From Phone section at the top of your photos on desktop to select which photos to share with friends. Currently, 2GB of photos can be stored free of cost.

When people use a 3G or 4G network, photos synced will be smaller in size, about 100K each and bigger versions will be available on Wi-Fi. There is an option in the Sync settings to deactivate cellular uploads so that you don’t use up your data plan or turn it off completely. When the battery of your device is low, there will be no sync-ing from Facebook.

The real issue when it comes to sharing mobile photos was the upload process where many seconds would be wasted in looking at the progress bar. People will be more open to share a number of photos now that the problem has been dealt with. Facebook will also access your geo-location data from your photos. This data will help them to show more relevant ads to you in your news feed.

But on the back-end, Facebook gets to chow down on a ton of extra data. Just because you don’t share them doesn’t mean Facebook doesn’t suck in the geo-location data from your photos that can help it refine your news feed and show you more relevant ads for nearby businesses. Just imagine – Facebook detects a Coca-Cola beverage in your hand, and Pepsi tried to make sure you buy their product instead via ads in your feed.

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