Phones, Facebook and photos might be the pinnacle of technological ubiquity. And although it seems like everyone has a cell phone capable of taking pictures, those snapshots sure don't do you much good unless you share them -- that's where Facebook comes in. Now there's just the matter of figuring out the best way to send photos to your account using your phone.
Because Facebook is so pervasive and multi-faceted, there are a lot of ways to access it, whether you opt for a laptop, a tablet PC or a phone. In addition, a single phone might offer several options for photo uploads alone.
Before you get crazy and start uploading pictures of your entire day, from breakfast to midnight snacks to everything in between, be sure that you understand your phone's service plan. Some plans include unlimited texting, while others tack on fees for each individual message. Similar rules apply to data usage. Read those rules -- understanding your plan could help you avoid hundreds of dollars in excess charges.
Caveats aside, you'll first have to decide exactly how you want to interact with Facebook via your phone.
That detail, of course, depends on the kind of phone you own. From the simplest (and perhaps most archaic) devices, to the latest and greatest in smartphones, you'll likely be able to send your photos to the Web.
If you have a basic phone with a camera, start by setting it up to work with Facebook. After you log in, click "account" on the top right side of your screen, then "account settings" and finally the "mobile" tab. Select your country and mobile phone carrier and follow the prompts. Facebook will send you a text message with an activation code; enter that code in the dialog box on your computer to confirm the process.
With most carriers, you should now be able to send picture text messages, otherwise known as MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), to this e-mail address: email@example.com. In your Facebook account, those pictures will appear in your "mobile uploads" album. Your phone does require e-mail capabilities in order to upload photos through this method, however.
Perhaps you prefer a different picture-transfer process? On the next page, we'll give you the scoop on more advanced ways to get those photos from your phone (and give them some real face time with your Facebook friends).
Many of today's phones fall into the smartphone category, and these devices can use applications, or apps. If that describes your phone (an iPhone, Android-based phone, Blackberry or other model), be sure to download the Facebook app. It lets you upload photos and engage with many other features of the site, too, including status updates, notifications and even chatting.
After you download and install the app, take a picture with your phone's camera. Once the image appears, you should see an option that allows you to share the picture directly to Facebook. You can add a caption to the image and, in some versions of the app, you may even be able to tag (name) the people in the photograph.
There's another way to upload images, so long as you can send e-mails with picture attachments. Point your browser to Facebook.com/mobile and find the "upload via e-mail" address. This is a personalized e-mail address provided solely for your Facebook account. As such, you should keep it totally private and not share it with anyone; otherwise, other people could use it to post photos to your account.
Save this e-mail address to your contacts. Then, take a picture and choose the option that lets you share it through a new e-mail. Send the picture to your personalized Facebook address, and the image will pop up in your "mobile uploads" album -- and in your status updates, too.
Because these types of technologies continually sprout new capabilities and copy-cats, there will always be alternative ways to achieve the same results. As of this writing, there were rumors of a brand new Facebook app -- designed specifically for photo-sharing -- for Apple's iPhone. The few details available regarding this app pointm to a lot of ramped-up features, including multi-user albums, tagging, filters and much more [source: Siegler].
So, if you can't get enough Facebook, and you can't stop snapping pictures with your phone, the future is a bright one, indeed. Your phone will let you blast a continuous stream of images to all of your friends at high speed for years to come.
- Facebook Mobile Home Page. (July 15, 2011) http://www.facebook.com/mobile/
- Facebook Help Center. (July 15, 2011) http://www.facebook.com/help
- Hamburger, Ellis. "Upload iPhone Photos Straight to Facebook with this Tweak." Businessinsider.com. May 10, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://www.businessinsider.com/nativefbupload-for-iphone2011-5
- Henry, Alan. "Five Best Apps to Send Group Text Messages on the Cheap." Lifehacker.com. May 8, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://lifehacker.com/5799695/five-best-apps-to-send-group-text-messages-on-the-cheap
- Pound, Michael. "Verizon Wireless: The Buffet is Closed." Timesonline.com. July 10, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://www.timesonline.com/news/technology/verizon-wireless-the-buffet-is-closed/article_535decc0-5b52-57ee-8586-31d3025ef13a.html
- Siegler, MG. "Behold: Facebook's Secret Photo Sharing App." Techcrunch.com. June 15, 2011. (July 15, 2011) http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/15/facebook-photo-sharing-app/
- Windows Phone Help and How-To. "Upload Pictures to the Web." Microsoft.com. (July 15, 2011) http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/pictures/upload-pictures-to-the-web.aspx