Facebook users, expect to see a whole lot more pictures in the news feed.
The social network quietly launched a new feature Wednesday that lets users attach a photo when commenting on status updates. The tool appears to enable JPEG and PNG image files to be uploaded and inserted. Although animated GIFs can be uploaded, they'll display like a still image.
Although not a direct stab at Twitter, the feature will give users an easy way to crowd-source images – something Twitter users have been able to do for a while. Facebook also introduced hashtags, another popular feature for Twitter users.
And on Thursday, Facebook will hold an event at which it will reportedly bring video-sharing to the photo-sharing app Instagram. Vine, a video-sharing mobile application owned by Twitter, has rocketed to popularity since launching in January.
Twitter is also creeping into Facebook's territory. On Wednesday, Twitter acquired Spindle, an iPhone app that enables users to see status updates from businesses near their current location. Spindle will shut down and its team will move to Twitter's offices in San Francisco. Whatever they develop could rival Facebook Places.
One of the Facebook engineers who developed the photo feature for comments said sometimes photos are needed to enhance a story.
“If we're hanging out in person, I can show a photo from my phone, but on Facebook I'd have to post a link to a photo,” Bob Baldwin said on his Facebook profile. “Now, you'll be able to attach a photo directly when posting a comment. I hope this will make threads with friends more expressive and engaging.”
In a post Monday, Baldwin noted that another feature he worked on also launched this week. He said the latest version of the Facebook app for iOS enables users to forward a photo sent through Messages.