Facebook Introduces Automatic Face Detection in Photos

The new feature will make tagging a lot easier

By Lucian Parfeni on July 2nd, 2010 08:46 GMT

One of the biggest features on Facebook are photos. The site is now the biggest online photo host in the world, by a huge and growing margin, yet that portion of the site has seen its fair share of criticism and rightfully so, most of the times. The photos section is very lacking and the tools around it have been universally panned. But things are looking up as Facebook Photos is about to get a revamp with the first feature already being introduced, automatic face detection.

“People love tagging their friends and family in photos, but we've heard that it can be a tedious process. You now can add tags with just a couple of clicks directly from your home page and other sections of the site, using the same face detection technology that cameras have used for years. We're running a limited test of this technology so you may not see it yet,” Sam Odio, product manager for Facebook Photos, announced.

The face detection feature is simple but relatively straightforward. People’s faces in photos are detected and pre-selected by the new tool so you can tag them with just a couple of clicks. Currently, users have to manually select the people they want to tag. This works for one or two tags, but if you want to do an entire album or there are a lot of people in a photo, it quickly becomes tedious.

Now with the most annoying part of the process out of the way, tagging should be a lot smoother. Considering just how many people use Facebook Photos and how much time they spend on the section, it’s probably going to make users’ lives easier.

Facebook says that 99 percent of all users have uploaded a photo and that 100 million new photos are uploaded each day. There are already tens of billions of photos on Facebook. So the Photos section is finally getting some attention and other changes and features are yet to come, thanks to the Divvyshot acquisition from a few months back.

The face detection feature in Facebook Photos
   The face detection feature in Facebook Photos
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