In this Facebook blog post, Sam Odio, product manager for Facebook photos writes “we also wanted to give people on Facebook the best quality photo product on the web.” But is it really the best on the web?
Pixel dimension is only one measure of image quality. Other important factors include jpg compression level and color space. Based on testing, Facebook recompresses all images regardless of upload size. A 466 x 700 pixel test image was uploaded with exif and IPTC data intact. The original size is 101 KB. 700 pixel is well within Facebook’s current size limit of 720 pixels so there is no need to downsize it. The downloaded version of the image is the same size but all the exif and IPTC data has been removed and it has been recompressed to 89 KB. Photographers often embed copyright data in the IPTC field and some courts have ruled the existence of such data is sufficient to serve as copyright notice. Therefore, the removal of such identifying information has serious consequences to any copyright holder in enforcing a claim against someone who may try to claim innocent infringement. A look at the National Geographic’s album with high resolution images point to the same results. The images do not contain any exif or IPTC data. Continue reading “An in depth look at Facebook’s new photo service and interview with Sam Odio”