Five million is a big number. Less than one year ago, that number only stood at one million. When numbers get that large, it gets pretty incomprehensible. Five million people, that's like Los Angeles and San Francisco combined (just the cities, not the metro areas) - and then turning all the people there into college students. That's one big bonfire/beer pong (Beirut? wtf?) party. It's also a great achievement for a company that's been "different" from its humble beginnings last February.
So what do you do when you hit a milestone like this? Throw a party of course! This was my first party with any company I've been with really, and needless to say, it was a blast. For one, it was great to see all my co-workers out of the office (and not on their computers), and two, it was equally as awesome to see us all having fun. I caught up with a lot of my co-workers, met significant others, made amends for neglecting the customer service team and took unauthorized pictures. Oh, speaking of pictures. Check out this link and come back.
Back already? Woah, that was quick. Wait. You were able to see that? Haha, yeah, that was the idea.
Well, to settle the confusion, you're looking at Facebook's newest feature. Photos. No, not Flickr. Facebook Photos. Ok ok, I know what you're thinking... "what the hell is different?" I'll show you, let's take a look at my friend Aaron who happens to be reciprocating my shot of him. Now, see where it says "Aaron Sittig" at the bottom of the description? Hover over it. Simple, yes. Stupid, no. Again, think of our market. We just wanted to provide the simplest of ways for people to mark who's in a respective picture. That's not the end of it though. (Since you can't see this next step, I'll illustrate.) If you were to click on the "Photos" link next to Aaron's name, you'd get something like this:
Ever have the urge to see every single photo a given person is in? I'm sure you have. This is what the above feature lets you do. By tagging (not Flickr tagging) each person (simply clicking on their face), you're able to add that photo to a pool of photos with that person in it. That's really all we did. It didn't need to be feature packed, it just need to do what we thought the users would appreciate most. It's worked too. We've found people tagging not only their friends, but inanimate objects as well.
So if you're a Facebook member and don't have this feature yet, don't worry, we're working on expanding our infrastructure so we won't crash when we add all 2028 schools. If you do have this feature, I encourage you to use it as soon as you can.