Skip to main content

Facebook knows what you look like, adds facial recognition to photos

SuggestedTagsAccording to Facebook, 100 million photo tags are added on the site each day. The social networking is largely responsible for the popularity of “tagging” photos, and it has arguably become the most popular way to label and share photos. Now, Facebook will do it for you.

When Facebook introduced its Photos update earlier this year, it allowed you to group people who often appear throughout the same album – called group tagging. Then, you didn’t have to go through and search for and individually tag your friends in that group of photos. Naturally, the next step is to eliminate the hassle of tagging all together, with the help of face recognition technology.

These “tagging suggestions” do the work for you. When you upload photos, Facebook will go through past photos you and yours are tagged in, and based on facial similarities, suggest the name of the new photos’ subjects.

Facebook is quick to assure users that this new feature is well within privacy rights, and suggests that if you want, you can disable your own photo from being automatically tagged (friends can still do it manually, though). TechCrunch reports that Facebook VP Product Chris Cox says that because the tagging tool can only use your individual social graph (which is relatively small), it couldn’t be used for any type of site-wide tracking. Facebook did work with unnamed outside sources on the technology, but is also responsible for some of the development itself.

The new service will slowly show up on US Facebook accounts next week. It’s possibly the most significant upgrade a core feature of Facebook has undergone, and will undeniably make tagging easier. One that is very likely to invite plenty of user concern over privacy and identity security.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Twitter Circle is coming soon. Here’s what you need to know
A Twitter icon on a blue background on a smartphone's screen, all on a white background.

Instead of just live tweeting their thoughts to everyone all at once, more Twitter users are now able to set some tweets to only be visible to specific people.

While Twitter announced that it began testing its Twitter Circle feature earlier this month, it appears that the social media platform has now expanded its test to more users. This past weekend, Android Police reported that the feature is now live for more users and shared a series of screenshots showing how Twitter Circle will appear. Twitter Circle is still not available for everyone, however, despite the expanded rollout.

Read more
We now know what the self-driving Apple Car might look like
A render that shows what the Apple Car might look like.

Thanks to several 3D concept renders, we now know what the future self-driving Apple Car might look like.

Vanarama, a British car-leasing company, took inspiration from other Apple products, as well as Apple patents, in order to accurately picture the rumored Apple car.

Read more
What is Wi-Fi Direct? Here’s everything you need to know
carnegie mellon help speech project female smartphone generic getty

There's a wireless connection that's used by all kinds of people and all sorts of devices, and yet hardly anyone talks about it: It's called Wi-Fi Direct, and it's been enabling versatile, peer-to-peer wireless connections for over 10 years.

What is Wi-Fi Direct? What can it do? Here's what you need to know.
Wi-Fi Direct defined

Read more