After hearing Mike Elgan, Tech News Today news director, complain several times about Facebook’s policy of shrinking — and vastly reducing the quality of — uploaded photos, I decided to see for myself what was going on.
So I did an experiment. I uploaded a photo to my Google Photos account and then uploaded the same photo to my Facebook account. Each service uses its own file reduction algorithms to shrink photos before they are finally stored. Next, I downloaded the Facebook-stored photo and the Google Photos-stored photo and opened them in my computer’s photo viewer. I then compared the technical quality of the photos, based on the “info” revealed (file size & pixels). The annotated images below show the results.
The bottom line: Don’t count on Facebook to display or store your photos in high-quality form. They really slash the quality by reducing the file size/pixels, compared to Google photos. If you have a high-quality image you want to share on Facebook, it’s better to upload it to Google photos and post a link to it. (See instructions in picture caption below.)
7 Reasons to Use Google Photos
- It’s FREE! All you need is a G-Mail (Google) account to get started.
- You get unlimited storage of regular, high quality photos.
- You can share good quality photos as individual pictures or entire albums by providing people with a unique, free link (URL) to each item you want to share. And this link can be made public so anyone who has it can see the photo or album… no Google account required. (Try this with a Facebook photo!… not so much.)
- You can easily find that special picture among thousands in your collection using Google’s super powerful photo search (It’s Google, after all!). It uses advanced facial recognition to find people and other power tools to help you find almost anything within your collection.
- You don’t need to go through and tag each photo to make categories. Many categories are automatically applied by Google’s “machine learning.” Photos automatically creates categories/collections such as people, places, things, etc. and sub-categories such as flowers, birds, mountains, beaches, etc.
- You can automatically back up all the photos you shoot from all your devices to one, single consolidated photo collection, then access this collection from all your devices using the Photos app.
- You can save storage space on each of your devices by letting Google handle your entire photo collection. — The free storage of high quality photos is unlimited!
To learn more, check out the videos and articles below.
Learn More About Google Photos:
- Google Photos Features & Benefits. Free photo backup, editing, movies, stories and more (YouTube video)
- Google Photos – My First Look (YouTube video)
- Google Photos – Live-Demonstration (YouTube video; on-stage product roll-out by Google)
- Get Started with Google Photos (Online reference from Google)
- Back Up Your Photos With Google Photos (YouTube video)
- Using Google Photos to save space on your phone | Photo Tools Weekly | lynda.com
Learn More About How Facebook Shrinks Your Photos:
- Why Your Facebook Images Look Like Crap, And How To Fix It (from Lifehacker Australia)
- Facebook Image Compression – how to get the best results (YouTube video)