Facebook rolls out shared photo albums

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(CNN) — Next time you host a soiree, you can collect photos of the event from your guests in one album on Facebook.

The social network has added shared photo albums so people can throw photos from an event or of a common subject into a single spot. The new shared album feature, first reported by Mashable, is rolling out to English-speaking users of the social network but will eventually be available around the world.

When you create a new photo album, there will be a new button that says “Make Shared Album.” Click and add up to 50 other people you want contributing to the album. Each person can upload 200 photos for a maximum of 10,000 images in a single shared album. Every contributor can tag, edit and give captions to the photos they add.

The album’s creator can decide who sees the photos by setting the privacy settings to just contributors, friends of contributors or public.

You can only add individual contributors. There’s no option to open an album to your entire network or base one on a specific shared gathering such as a concert or sporting event. You can open up the floodgates a bit by allowing your friends to add anyone else they like to an album.

“Hundreds of millions of photos are uploaded onto Facebook each day and today, we’re making it even easier for friends to share photos with the rollout of Shared Photo Albums,” the company said in a statement

Creating a single bucket for all the photos from an event is going to be a hit with wedding or other party guests, though the 50-person limit could be tricky if you throw proper ragers.

The 68,000 people returning from the Burning Man festival next week can share their dusty photos memories in groups on Facebook instead of each posting them individually. A family vacation to Disney World can be immortalized in one spot. Birthday party guests can share their photos of the guest of honor blowing out candles from every possible angle.

The shared photo album is not an original idea.

Various startups such as Keepsy, Hipstamatic and Albumatic have tried to make sharing albums easy, but many require everyone downloading the same app or signing up for a service. It makes much more sense as an additional feature on a site that is already a popular place for photo-sharing.

More than a billion people are on Facebook, and they’re sharing hundreds of millions of photos every day on the service, according to Facebook.

It’s surprising it took the company this long to add this simple, helpful feature.

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