I haven’t been able to find the exact specs for Facebook’s photo compression but when Peter Bower asked me about it I got a little curious. So I exported a photo at 300dpi and 100dpi. I also typed the dpi of each on the photos itself. The text is set to Sharp so even when compressed it should stay that way.
@scottwyden I’d be keen to see you follow up that last article with advice on how to upload images and have them maintain their quality.
Below you can see screen shots of the original photos with the basic EXIF data. Click on them to enlarge. I didn’t want to upload the actual original images because they are too large.
So the first thing I noticed after uploading the photos was the EXIF data was stripped completely. My copyright and website was removed. The camera and lens was removed. Below you can see a screen shot of the EXIF before and after Facebook.
Looking at the after Facebook EXIF data you can see that it compressed the photos down to 479 x 720 at 72dpi. The text, while still sharp, is not as crisp as the original. With 92% compression I can see why. Facebook totally destroys your photos. But with that said and Facebook not being my main source of image storage I really don’t mind the compression. I’m more concerned about Facebook stripping away my EXIF data. I put a copyright and website in my EXIF for a reason. Removing it is not right.
Now that you’ve seen my tests all I can say about Peter Bower‘s question is it’s out of our control. Facebook doesn’t give any flexibility with their compression. Nowhere on their website (that I can find) does it show the compression stats. There is nothing we can do about it. Just as Facebook changes their privacy control almost weekly (yea.. please stop) all us users can do is complain and hope they make positive changes.
Please share your thoughts on Facebook’s photo compression by commenting below. I’d love to hear what you think about it.
Thanks for reading and happy shooting,
Removing bits and bytes
I was told that this post is wrong, and that Facebook does not compress photos. Well, here is the proof. I uploaded a photo using Facebook’s new hi-resolution upload option. Even with that, Facebook compressed the photo.
You can see that the original photo was 106kb and the Facebook version was compressed to 78kb and the colorspace was changed. So whether it is called downsampling or compression, either way, Facebook reduces the quality of your image. Fine for web, but it changes color and is not good for print.