Facebook to trial new photo facial recognition feature in Australia

Facebook has begun testing out a “magic” new feature in Australia that aims to further solidify its Messenger as the go-to means of communication.


Photo Magic uses facial recognition software to notice a new photo taken by a user of someone that they are friends with on Facebook, and then prompts that user to send it to them via Messenger.


According to Facebook, about 9.5 billion photos were sent through Messenger in the last month, and this is a further effort to compete with Snapchat on the photos front, as Tech Crunch reports.


It’s no doubt also aimed at further drawing users away from texting, where sending a photo still isn’t great.


Photo Magic will be rolling out in Australia first on Android from Tuesday morning and iOS a bit later.


To get things started, Photo Magic will scan back through a user’s camera roll to find a familiar face, and then suggest they send it with an accompanying message. If there are multiple people in the picture, a group conversation will be started.


From after that, a push notification will appear after you take a photo of someone you’re Facebook friends with – if you opt in for it of course.


Facebook has had facial recognition for photos uploaded to the platform for a while now, and launched the Moments app in June, which hunts through older photos and groups them together by who’s in them.


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