It’s kind of funny how often the words creepy and convenient can be used to describe the same thing, and Facebook’s new Messenger experiment is definitely one of those things. The experiment will be rolling out to Android and iOS users in Australia this week, and will allow users to enable facial recognition software to scan the photos they take in search of people that are on their friends list. If any friends are found, Messenger will prompt the user to send the photo to the friends who are in the photo.
Facebook is using its latest experiment with Messenger to expand the way it uses facial recognition. Facebook is testing a new feature in Messenger called “Photo Magic,” which uses face recognition to make it easier for people to share photos with friends right after they shoot them. The test will begin to roll out to iOS and Android users in Australia this week. The concept is similar to Moments, the private photo-sharing app Facebook launched earlier this year. When enabled, Messenger will nudge you to share photos when it detects a new picture with a certain friend in your camera roll. The option to enable the feature will begin to show up in Messenger this week. If you don’t opt-in, you won’t see suggestions for the photos you take, though you will appear in the suggestions of your friends who have the feature enabled if you have tag suggestions enabled. Say you snap a photo of a group of friends at a party, Facebook will detect the faces of people you’re friends with in the most recent image on your camera roll. Within a few seconds (if you’re on Android) or a few minutes (if you’re on iOS), you’ll see a push notification suggesting you send the photo via Messenger to the friends who are in the photo.