The close to 1 billion Facebook users should be getting set for a more pleasant photo experience with the recent acquisition of a facial recognition technology company, Face.com. This is an impressive addition to Facebook’s photo-sharing experience as it will enable users to auto-detect faces and tag them more easily on mobile devices.
The post on Face.com’s corporate blog on 18th June reveals that the acquisition is expected to make facial recognition more fun for the users of Facebook. Also, considering the recent acquisition of Instagram and launching of Camera (a standalone mobile photo app), it is gradually becoming obvious that Facebook is focusing on improving their users’ photo-sharing experience.
About Face.com and the Acquisition
Face.com is an Israel-based technology startup with one of the best face recognition software in existence. They have already developed two products for Facebook – Photo Tagger and Photo Finder – with their photo tagging suggestions software. Photo Tagger helps people to automatically tag photos in bulk, whereas Photo Finder helps Facebook users discover their photos that were not previously tagged.
Moreover, their platform allows third -party developers to create apps that leverage their facial recognition technology, algorithms and database of faces. Thus, Face.com provides application programming interface (API) for integrating with many other apps, one of which is CelebrityFindr (which is no longer accessible) that is used for discovering photos of celebrities on Twitter.
Currently, it is not entirely clear how Facebook intends to use their technology, but obviously the facial recognition technology is their target in this acquisition. The implementation of better face recognition on mobile devices is expected to help improve sharing and ultimately increase users’ engagement on Facebook.
For developers who already use Face.com’s API, it has been clearly stated that there will be continued support for apps that are supported by Face.com’s technology, algorithm and/or database. The blog post by Gil affirms that they will continue to support the other apps that use their platform in spite of the acquisition.
Also, the terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed. Many people have guessed that the acquisition would cost between $60 million and $100 million, but there is no official report yet about the cost of the acquisition or its purpose. In any case, this looks like a good move for both Face.com and Facebook since Face.com’s platform is a perfect additive to Facebook’s already buoyant service. Additionally, with the continuing increase in the number of mobile phone users, greater engagement on mobile devices will eventually bring higher profits for Facebook.
So, keep your fingers crossed as a new Facebook begins to emerge after the initial public offering. Remember that Facebook has been on a spending spree since the beginning of the year. With so much acquisitions, let’s look forward to seeing a much better Facebook.