Social Media

Facebook gets face detection with new photo tag suggestions

Mark Zuckerberg face tagged
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In a blog post earlier today Facebook have announced a new photo tags suggestions feature that uses face detection technology. Photo tags will be automatically suggested to uploads based on previous tagging data within your social graph.

Facebook is the most popular photo sharing service on the web with 2.5 billion photo uploads each month, and 100 million or more tags annotated to photos every day. With tag suggestions this figure is set to rise considerably.

Facebook already has a limited version of face detection is place, known as group tagging, where similar photos from one album are grouped and can be tagged all at once. With tag suggestions, Facebook actively suggests, from your list of friends, who the actually person in the photo is, making photo tagging easier and less cumbersome.

Facebook photo tag suggestions

Regarding privacy, users will be able to opt out of face detection entirely, meaning their name won’t be available to auto-suggest to any photo, although friends can still tag you manually.

Ironically levels of privacy may actually be increased by allowing yourself to be auto-suggested in photo tags. Augmented photo tagging also increases the likelihood of users becoming more aware of the photos they are in. Therefore appropriate measures to remove unwanted photos can be taken.

“By making tagging easier than before, you’re more likely to know right away when friends post photos.”

The new face detection will roll out to US users in the next few week, and to everyone else on a gradual basis. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

5 Comments

  1. This new feature by Facebook is totally and completely ridiculous. It is going to make facebook totally unusable due to privacy concerns and the only solution will be to quit facebook. Facebook has so many issues that you cannot use it freely again. I have quit facebook and am hoping MyCube and Diaspora are secure as they can restore privacy to social media

    1. @Johndavid I actually think that face detection is a step in the right direction as regards privacy. Increased photo tagging will result in a greater likelihood of users being aware of photos that they are in. I’d rather know what photos of me are published on Facebook than to be blissfully ignorant. You can then request photos to be deleted, or untag yourself if necessary.

  2. It may be a new and innovative addition but it doesnt change the fact the software is a danger to privacy.Also, are we to take Facebooks word for how accurate the recognition software is? People should realise the massive holes in this new addition before its too late.

    1. @DavidJames There’s no doubt that it’s a controversial topic. Facebook are constantly pushing and establishing boundaries around privacy and where lines should be drawn. Unfortuntely this experimentation has come at the expense of users data in the past, but I do think Facebook are improving on this all the time.

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.