The latest usability update to Facebook is centred around its most popular component – user photographs. Over the next few days you will notice photos along with their comments & likes displayed within a Lightbox.

Facebooks new Lightbox photo gallery

Click to Enlarge

Update: If you hate the new stupid theater way of looking at FB pics, remove “&theater” from the end of the URL whenever you’re looking at pictures. Share this if you found it useful 🙂 – Thanks @lomatik

What’s New?

Speed – The new Facebook Lightbox means photographs will now be pre-fetched on full web-browsers – meaning the next photograph will load instantly without having to refresh the page. On a 20mbit ADSL2 connection I was able to rapidly scroll through 12 images before I hit the download buffer & had to wait for the next photograph to load.

Design – The Like & Comment buttons have been redesigned & now appear in the photo area.

Another Ad Spot – Just when you thought Facebook had enough adverts, they’ve managed to squeeze one into the Lightbox. Not a big a deal you may think, but if you take into account the page no longer refreshes means PPC adverts shown in the space are given significantly more exposure. So… does this mean a higher CPC? I’d like to think so. Pretty smart (If they meant to do this).