The Difference Between The Google+ Lightbox Photo Viewer And The New Facebook Lighbox Photo Viewer


While Google + has been successful at least in some quarters there is no threat to Facebook Yet. But Google + is still growing and Facebook has at least feel a little nervous.

Google+ already has pretty much all of the core Facebook features and it's adding more. It also has some features that are better than Facebook's again from a technical point of view. It also has some distinctive features of its own.

If this was a bullet point list war Google+ would match or better Facebook in most core social network features.

Google+ Photos is one example. When it came out the photos section of Google+ had some pretty strong points going for it. The galleries and the viewer looked and worked better with a few caveats.

But Facebook is not taking it lying down. It revamped the photos section last winter well in advance of Google+ and it has now upped the ante again with a refreshed viewer and larger photos.

But how does it stack up to the Google+ viewer. The Google+ lightbox which showcases individual photos surrounded by a black edge features a comments box a slideshow list of photos in the album and that's pretty much it at first glance.

There is a tag option of course and from the actions menu you can rotate the image or view more details about it. There are also several photos filters so you can edit the image from Google+. The main image itself is 912 pixels wide.

The new Facebook viewer increases the image size from 720 pixels to 960 pixels more than Google+. Note that the screenshot displays the viewer with a 720 pixel image. It is otherwise identical with the updated one.

The Facebook viewer also enables you to comment on a photo and tag someone in it. There is also a Download link but that only retrieves the image as seen in the viewer not the original-sized one.

There's no download button in Google+ but you can right-click save the image something you can't do in Facebook. You can also access the original full-size image if you visit Picasa Web.

Overall the new Facebook viewer looks better and the white background feels more soothing than the black one used by Google+. While the black is used to better bring out the photo the white version does a better job at that.

When it comes to the album view and management Google+ gets the top spot at least from a visual point of view. But the lightbox viewer Facebook uses trumps Google+'s at least for now.

As Facebook aptly demonstrated it's not the features or the capabilities that win the day. Facebook photos became the biggest photo host on the web not because it was better than the competition but because it was relatively easy to use social and already built into something people used Facebook.


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