Strut your synths on Facebook

At long last Photosynth has joined the social Web. We’re happy to announce a much requested feature: sharing synths to Facebook. Every synth and pano viewing page now has a “share to Facebook” button.

Sample of Facebook link

Click it, and you’ll get a wall posting that looks very much those produced by every other Facebook-aware app on the Web. Welcome to 2008, Photosynth 🙂

Some Important Bug Fixes
In the update we shipped today we also fixed a few serious bugs that many people had reported. (Thank you!)

  • The “x” to delete a synth from the “My Photosynths” page was sometimes missing. It’s back now, so it’s once again obvious how to delete one of your synths.

  • We tweaked the presentation of “zoomed-in highlights” (see here). We made sure that we never crop any of the parts inside the box you select in the editor.

  • Our forums had a bug whereby postings less than a day old would always show as being written “moments ago”.

That’s about it for this update. Watch for all your great panoramas to be published to Bing Maps in the next Bing Maps update, coming soon.

The Photosynth Team

Comments (15)

  1. Geoff Coupe says:

    I could care less about Facebook. I would, however like to share my Photosynths on Windows Live Spaces – you know, that service that also belongs to Microsoft? When is that particular issue going to be addressed?

  2. Nate Lawrence says:

    I’m with you, Geoff… at least as far as wishing that I could embed synths on Windows Live, but that honestly isn’t what the update above enables. When you use the share on Facebook button, it simply adds a thumbnail, title, link, and the first X number of characters from the synth description to your Facebook wall. This still means that anyone who sees this link on Facebook is basically just clicking a link that takes them away from Facebook and over to Photosynth.

    Although the automatic retrieval of the title, thumbnail, and description are a great time saver, it’s hardly the same thing as watching an embedded Vimeo video right there on Facebook. This sort of link was already possible on Facebook, albeit a little more manual and if you’re looking for something similar for Windows Live, you can always add an RSS feed from your Photosynth account to your Windows Live profile. It doesn’t grab the synth thumbnail and description (at least not the last time that I checked it), but it’s something.

    It’s also worth saying that it really isn’t Photosynth’s fault that Windows Live and Facebook strip Photosynth embed code out of posts. Would I like to see Photosynth proactive in reaching out to these social networks so that sharing is simpler? Absolutely, but honestly it’s in the hands of the Windows Live team and the Facebook team.

    As to caring about Facebook or not, I have to say that it is the most robust and universal personal contact directory ever created, and I can catch up with probably over 75% of the people who I have ever met on it, so it’s not to be ignored, nor are the consequences of being able to directly share Photosynths with that audience of family, friends, and coworkers. I hear so many people complain about the foolish games like Farmville and other apps that spam your account with your friends’ recent activity in little Facebook apps, but the experience is honestly what you make of it. I long ago blocked spammy applications like Farmville and Facebook is to me the place where I can easily find out who from my old community is married now, what old school friends are having new kids, etc. etc. Believe me when I say that Windows Live has nothing on this (as much as I wish that it were just as popular). Windows Live Wave 4 is coming soon, so maybe we’ll seen them really get things right this time with the photo experience, etc., but I won’t be holding my breath.

    To the Photosynth team, a heartfelt, "Thanks!" for the bug fixes. I can’t wait to see what’s next for your work on Bing Maps.

  3. Bert says:

    Guys, you can share your synths on Windows Live by using the RSS feed from your profile page.  Just click the RSS icon near the ‘My Photosynth’s tab and past that into a feed on your Windows Live profile page and voila, you’ll have a feed of all your synths going to your Windows Live profile (note that this same approach works on any social/sharing site that accepts an RSS feed as input)


  4. I started a humble and lowly blog at to try and address some of the failings of the official forum, its early days and that might fail.

    But anyhoooow it would be great to be able to properly embed synths there as well. Vimeo and YouTube seem to handle it.

    The embed feature should have the extra, maybe, added to it.

    But no doubt the rolling out of Facebook will get lots of extra people interested in photosynth, still a fantastic tool.

  5. Bert says:

    Gary, can you elaborate a bit on the embed stuff?  We do have an embed feature on the site, would be good to hear your feedback on what extra you’d like to see.

  6. Geoff Coupe says:

    Bert, I don’t know whether you’re part of the Photosynth team, but I think you might be when you write: "We do have an embed feature on the site".

    Clearly, it hasn’t got through that you *cannot* use the Photosynth embed code in Windows Live Spaces – it will be stripped out when the blog entry is published.

    As others have said, we can embed (for example) YouTube and Vimeo videos with ease in our Windows Live Spaces blog entries, but display Microsoft’s Photosynths? Forget it…

  7. Nate Lawrence says:


    Bert is indeed part of the Photosynth team.

    See these links:

    What doesn’t seem to be getting through to you is that the Windows Live team has made exceptions for YouTube and Vimeo because of the power that YouTube holds, but they have not made an exception for Photosynth. In other words, talk to the Windows Live team about why they keep ripping it out.

    This goes for Ning and Facebook as well. The problem is not that the embed code does not work. The problem is that some sites will strip the embed code out. Our problem is with the sites stripping it out, not with the Photosynth team.

  8. Geoff Coupe says:

    @Nate Lawrence – I do realise that the onus is with the Windows Live team, my point is that both teams are under the Microsoft umbrella, and I would have thought that it would make corporate sense to ensure proper integration across product lines.

    And I (and probably many others) have commented (several times) on this issue via channels to the Windows Live team. Clearly, we are not getting through. I would have thought that the Photosynth team, as part of Microsoft would have a better chance of catching the ear of the Windows Live team. I don’t know whether they’ve even tried.

  9. Nate Lawrence says:

    Well, fair enough, Geoff. It is certainly interesting that each product team inside of Microsoft functions essentially as its own company, sometimes even competing with the other teams directly for the survival of their division.

    I think that both fans and enemies of Microsoft alike often give too much credit to ‘Microsoft’ for being one cohesive masterminded machine, with all of its parts working together to dominate the world. =)

    That said, I too share your frustration. Thanks for putting the issue back on the table. They do say that the squeaky hinge gets the oil.

    Cheers, mate. Hopefully we’ll get our wish soon.

  10. Geoff Coupe says:

    "It is certainly interesting that each product team inside of Microsoft functions essentially as its own company, sometimes even competing with the other teams directly for the survival of their division".

    Tell me about it… Before I retired, I was one of the contact points between a major company and Microsoft; part of my job was to represent the concerns of our company regarding Microsoft’s products’ directions and integration. The "Not Invented Here" spirit in Microsoft’s teams at the time caused me to metaphorically bang my head against the wall all too frequently…

  11. Greg Downing says:

    This is great, I have wanted to be able to post this stuff to facebook for a while, it will definitely help spread the word in niche areas and help things go viral. Thanks guys!!

  12. Jonathan Park says:

    I’ve been sharing my synths on facebook for a long time.  It is nice that they look a bit prettier now.  What I would really like is a feature for breaking pattern associations in synths by photo.  I have a massive synth with 2 very similar murals in 2 different locations that will not synth correctly because the system thinks both murals are in the same location.

  13. phil openshaw says:

    Thanks for this. Is it possible to post to facebook ‘pages’ as well as your main profile? As to ’embed’ not working in most social networks, i can’t see them not stripping out iframes unless it’s a specific exeption

  14. kdbhiker63 says:

    You need to fix the link to Facebook, all it shows is link on your wall.  No title nor pic so it doesn't make any sense.

  15. TonyErnst says:

    @kdbhiker63 – This was an issue on Facebook's end of things.  I saw the same problem you did yesterday, but it has been fixed today.