This article was published on March 13, 2012

CanvasPop lets you print your low-res Facebook photos direct to large-format canvas

CanvasPop lets you print your low-res Facebook photos direct to large-format canvas

Facebook hit sixty billion hosted photos by February 2011, and with around 6bn photos uploaded each month, this figure will now be well in excess of 100bn.

Facebook is the number one photo-hosting website in the world, and as such canvas-printing company CanvasPop is opening its service up to the social networking site. It will make even the tiniest, low-resolution photos printable in large format too.

From today it will let you print your Facebook photos to canvas, five months after it rolled out a feature to let users print directly from Instagram. Once you go through the formalities of selecting your preferred canvas size and style, you hit ‘Connect with Facebook’ and then select a photo:

The costs vary by size, starting at $30 for 8″ x 10″, going all the way up to 24″ x 72″ which will set you back a princely sum of $219.

You could, of course, right-click on any Facebook photo, save it to your hard-drive and upload from there. All CanvasPop has done here is tap Facebook’s API to make it slightly easier for users to print their Facebook photos.

But if you have a host of uber-compressed images on Facebook that you’ve been meaning to get blown up and paraded throughout your house, this will let you do just that. But how?

“It’s a proprietary process that we’ve been working on – and refining – for over two years, so I can’t get into the deep technical details,” says Adrian Salamunovic co-founder of CanvasPop. “The process involves something we call ‘micro-vectorization’, which essentially turns bitmaps at a pixel-by-pixel level. This allows for the enlargement of photos without any visible data loss when enlarged.”

Of course, printing directly from Facebook is nothing new in itself. For example, Kodak has previously let users access their Facebook account from in-store kiosks, and a number of other platforms tap Facebook’s API to make things just that little bit easier to transfer images into physical format. However, it’s interesting to see focus being placed on the often low-resolution or bad-quality images that are all too commonly uploaded to the social network.

Moreover, all this serves to remind us that whilst digital is now everywhere thanks to the ubiquity of the Web-enabled devices, people don’t seem to want to sever themselves from physical-format media quite yet.

Back in January, we reported that UK online printers was offering printed Facebook business cards based on users’ timelines. And one German artist is even dishing out Facebook ID cards which include real name, username, gender, location, and the date a user joined the social network. It also has a QR code that will send people to their profile.