Facebook apps that get the most out of pictures

Facebook apps that enhance the way you manage and interact with images on the popular social network are great. But which services are best? Find out.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
4 min read

There are currently more than 10 billion photos on Facebook. With so many images, Facebook's own photo management tools just don't do the job you might expect. Realizing that, I've found some great apps that will help you get more out of your pictures. You won't be disappointed.

Facebook photo tools

Photo Album Strip Photo Album Strip is a great app. After you install it on your profile, it will allow you to change the designations for your albums to anything you want. You can also change their colors, reduce the number of picture categories, or hide those that you don't want your friends to see. It's an extremely simple app, but it works well and it's one of the more convenient apps in this roundup. It's definitely worth trying out.

Photo Album Strip
Photo Album Strip gives you some ideas for photo album categories. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Photo Box Photo Box is similar to Flickr. It allows you to tag your photos and share those with friends. You can also arrange them based on the topic of the photos. But perhaps the most appealing aspect of Photo Box is that it tracks how many people have viewed your images. That should give you some insight into what your friends like. Overall, Photo Box is a pretty simple app, but it's worth trying out.

Photo Box
Photo Box brings Flickr-like features to Facebook. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Photo Finder Photo Finder is a neat service that, so far, is in private alpha. Instead of forcing you to talk to friends to be tagged in photos, Photo Finder does it for you. It analyzes all the photos on Facebook to see if you're in them. If so, it displays the photos and which profile they're on.

Unfortunately, Photo Finder is still a work in progress. It failed to find pictures of me or my wife even though I intentionally "untagged" images. That said, it did find a couple of pictures of my friend when I asked him to use the app. So, for right now, your mileage will vary with Photo Finder. But it's still a neat app.

Photo Finder
Photo Finder couldn't find pictures of me on Facebook. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Photo Mosaic Photo Mosaic will allow you to create an image out of all your Facebook photos. You'll need 50 photos to do that, but as long as you have them, you'll create some really neat images. I'm not too sure how useful Photo Mosaic is, though. It's a great app to have on-hand whenever you want to create a neat picture, but for the most part, it's a novelty that you probably won't find yourself using too often. Regardless, it's worth checking out.

Photo Mosaic
Photo Mosaic helps you create a mosaic in three steps. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Photo Stalker If it frustrates you that you can't see other users' images unless you're friends with them, Photo Stalker is for you. After installing it, the app lets you view any photo on Facebook without the user knowing it.

After using it, I wasn't too impressed by Photo Stalker. It does work and using it couldn't be easier, but the interface is suspect. I had trouble accessing profile pictures unless I had the Facebook ID used as the query. Although it worked as advertised, it was a little frustrating to use.

Photo Stalker
Photo Stalker lets you see photos of Facebook users you're not friends with. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Photo Surfer Photo Surfer is the best anonymous photo viewer I've used on Facebook. Unlike Photo Stalker, Photo Surfer makes it quick and easy to find the photos you're looking for.

After it's installed, all of your friends' profiles are listed. When you click on one of those profiles, you can see all their photos. If you're looking to see photos from those you aren't friends with, the app's search feature is second to none. It found everyone I searched for. It was fantastic. That said, pictures that users have set to private can't be viewed. Regardless, it's a great app that you should definitely try out.

Photo Surfer
Photo Surfer lets you see what others' photos look like. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Private Photo Gallery Private Photo Gallery is a useful app if you don't want users to see your Facebook photos. But with so many ads, it can be quite annoying.

When you first start using Private Photo Gallery, you have to choose which friends will be allowed to see your photos. After that, the service will block photo viewing from the rest of your friends. Each day, you can allow up to 10 friends who request to see your photos access to them. After you exceed that 10-person limit, you can either choose to wait until tomorrow to accept more requests or upgrade to a premium account, which costs $5.99 per month. It allows for unlimited request acceptance, no ads, and an unlimited number of pictures you can keep private. It's expensive, but given the sheer number of ads in the free version, it might be worth it if you like this app enough. If not, stick with the free version.

Private Photo Gallery
Private Photo Gallery has a lot of ads. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top 3

1. Photo Surfer: It's simply the best anonymous photo viewer I've ever tried.

2. Photo Album Strip: Quick and easy to use, Photo Album Strip is worth trying out.

3. Photo Finder: It's not perfect, but a great idea should be celebrated.