Facebook is set to release a new tool which they call ‘Photo Magic’. It’s already out in Australia, where Facebook wanted to test how it worked. With studies coming from scientific and psychological forums that using too much Facebook leads to depression and unhappy moods. What Facebook needed was to bring something new to divert people’s minds away from this issue, and they did just that!
Photo Magic is not an app, but a tool, which has been integrated to its Messenger application. It’s basically an AI technology which has the capability to recognize people in photos. So, for example, if you take a picture with your friends, this tool would immediately recognize them and suggest that you share this pic with them via Messenger. Then all you’ll need to do is to tap that suggestion and your photo shall automatically be shared.
The new feature is being praised by many as it saves them from the hassle of opening the camera roll, selecting the photo, passing it over to a messaging app, manually selecting the people in the pic as recipients, and sending it. But now, all you have to do is to tap the notification which would come when you take a picture and it would automatically be sent to the people who are in it.
Although, this feature almost borders on revolutionary, it is being criticized by many for two main reasons. One is that the frequency of notifications coming in would be annoying. No one would want to be bombarded with unnecessary notifications. Another limitation would be that if you use burst fire, or shoot a stream of photos and want to select and send the best ones, Photo Magic would disappoint because it only scans the very last one.
The bigger issue, however, is that this new feature would threaten the privacy of its users. With scores of people downloading security applications like Folder Lock, Secure Photo Gallery and Photo Lock Advanced from NewSoftwares, one can imagine what it would be like if some company threatens to spy over their photos. Facebook is already on bad terms with European data protection regulators for infringing the privacy rights when they released Moments.
The technology and ideas used for this tool are brilliant. Facebook also claims that this new feature would be optional and users can turn it off if they want to. But it still generates a bitter and uneasy feeling.