Last week I wrote an article about how pointless the recently released photo-sharing app Cluster -- which raised a ridiculous US$1.6 million in funding -- is, given that the vast majority of its features are already mimicked on more popular services, including Facebook. Today, in an interview with Mashable, Facebook's Bob Baldwin underlined my sentiment in the best way he knew how: by announcing that the social network has just launched its own shared photo album feature.
Facebook's shared albums work much like the standard albums that you've likely been using for many years now, but with a few key tweaks. The album creator can invite as many as 50 friends to contribute content to the album, which is a large enough number that nobody should realistically be left out. Varying levels of privacy can then be set based on your needs, allowing the photos to be browsed publicly, by friends or by just the contributors.
As far as mobile functionality goes, users will be able to contribute to shared albums automatically, but the ability to actually create these social image portals will be added in the near future. For now, the shared album feature has been rolled out to a limited number of English-speaking Facebook users, which will be expanded to all English-speaking users before spreading worldwide.