Why Did Facebook Remove Full Screen Photo Viewing From Safari? (UPDATED)
Photos are likely the most popular Facebook feature right now, aside from mere status updates. The social network receives millions of photos each and every day from people all over the world sharing them with their friends and family.
One new feature Facebook recently lanched, was Full Screen Viewing for photos. The move made viewing photos more fun, and gave us all a chance to see them in HD, should our monitors allow it. We reported this change right as it happened, and since then, there have been other sites announcing that the only browsers that support such a feature, is Chrome and Firefox.
This is odd to me though, since Safari and Opera also worked for browsing photos in full screen when it was first launched. It worked well in every browser, including Apple’s Safari browser (version 5.1.4, Mac OS X 10.6.8).
So why then are these other sites claiming that the feature only works in Chrome and Firefox? Turns out, as of this post, Safari is actually no longer supported. The feature, which we DEMONSTRATED HERE, doesn’t appear to show up any longer in Safari when browsing photos, and because those other sites were a tad bit behind us on the news, they only seen what was available after Facebook removed the ability. It really does only support Chrome and Firefox now.
But why is this? Was there some unknown bug that I didn’t see when it launched? It seemed to work fine for me, and when another user on our Facebook page declared that she couldn’t get the feature to work with her in Chrome, I actually went and made another video demonstrating the feature being fully functional in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. It worked fine. (Please visit our Facebook Page to see in HD)
I don’t know if there is something in the coding that Facebook didn’t like, or if it’s just some sort of stance against Apple’s browser, but all of the browsers work fine with this viewing feature.
I’ve reached out to Facebook support for comment, but have yet to get a response
UPDATE: We’ve received a response from a member of the Facebook team who built the feature. His response is in the first comment below this post. Thank you for your response Pete!
For security reasons, Safari doesn’t allow keyboard input when in full-screen mode. So if you actually tried to type a comment into the comment box none of the keystrokes would register. So rather than ship a half-broken product to some users we decided to just release it to browsers that worked the best. We reported this bug to Apple and hopefully they’ll change their mind about this feature soon.
When Apple gets around to addressing this issue, those using Safari will get this feature back.