Facebook adding 'Photo Magic' to Messenger application

SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook is trying to make it easier to send photos as the holiday season's picture-taking frenzy escalates with the arrival of Christmas and New Year's Eve.

See Full Article

The world's largest social networking service is offering a feature call "Photo Magic" that will automatically address a message so it can be sent quickly to Facebook friends identified in a picture. The option relies on the same image-recognition technology that attaches people's names to Facebook posts.

With this twist, Facebook is deploying the technology in its Messenger application to make it more convenient to distribute pictures to a few friends and family members.

Facebook Inc. will highlight Photo Magic in a Messenger update that will start rolling out Thursday to users of Apple's iPhones and smartphones running on Google's Android software. It will still be up to each individual to decide whether they want to activate Photo Magic. After the feature is turned on, it can still be switched off at any time.

The update is being distributed to a broad audience after a month of testing among smartphone users in Australia. Facebook is planning to make Photo Magic available to Messenger users everywhere in the world except in Canada and the European Union.

Messenger currently has more than 700 million users, about half the size of the audience on Facebook's social network.

Facebook is counting on Photo Magic to foster more allegiance to its Messenger app as it competes against other competing services such as Snapchat that have become particularly popular among teenagers and young adults.

If Photo Magic is turned on, it is supposed to promptly figure out if any of the people in a picture belong to the smartphone owner's circle of Facebook friends. If some are found, Photo Magic creates a messaging thread that allows a user to send the picture to all the identified parties with two clicks.

About 9.5 billion pictures are already sent through Messenger each month, according to Facebook. The Menlo Park, California, company believes the volume will be even higher if Photo Magic's automation is successful in making it less of a hassle to pick out the images and figure out which people might be interested in seeing them.

As part of the Messenger upgrade, Facebook is also including an option that will allow users to change the colours of their exchanges with different friends, and switch the formal name of a recipient to a nickname, such as "mom" or "dad." Until now, Messenger's address book mirrored the names listed on people's Facebook profiles.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • China blocks online broadcast of computer Go match

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BEIJING -- Internet users outside China watched a computer defeat its national Go champion, but few Chinese web surfers could see it. Censors blocked access to Tuesday's online broadcast by Google, which organized the game in a town west of Shanghai during a forum on artificial intelligence. Source
  • Scientists may have found out why whales are so big

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Scientists think they have answered a whale of a mystery: How the ocean creatures got so huge so quickly. A few million years ago, the largest whales, averaged maybe 15 feet long. Source
  • Canadian students win big at robotics world championship

    Tech & Science CTV News
    For the second time in 15 years, Canadian students excelled at a global robotics competition. Toronto’s Bayview Glen School came in first out of 32,000 teams at the FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) LEGO League world festival, held in St. Source
  • Egypt moves bed, chariot of King Tut to new museum

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAIRO -- Egypt has safely transported two unique items, a funerary bed and a chariot belonging to the famed pharaoh King Tutankhamun from a museum in central Cairo to a new one on the other side of the city. Source
  • Flood prediction, climate change impacts on water studied at new Canmore lab

    Tech & Science CBC News
    At a new research lab in Canmore, Alta., scientists are studying the impact of climate change on water, glaciers and snow, and developing tools to predict and warn people about future floods. The Coldwater Laboratory, led by John Pomeroy, recently moved from the Barrier Lake Field Station in Kananaskis Country to the Bow Valley. Source
  • Battery boast, better viewing angles for refreshed Microsoft Surface

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Microsoft is refreshing its Surface Pro tablet with longer battery life and faster processors. The new, fifth-generation device — simply called Surface Pro — won’t look or feel drastically different from its predecessor. But Microsoft is hoping its under-the-hood improvements will help it compete with newer laptop-tablet hybrids from Samsung and others. Source
  • Trump budget cuts funding for clean air and water programs

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The Trump Administration budget released Tuesday slashes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by nearly one-third, laying off thousands of employees while imposing dramatic cuts to clean air and water programs. The White House's proposed spending plan for the EPA amounts to less than $5.7 billion, a 31 per cent cut from the current budget year, according to a briefing provided in advance to the media. Source
  • Spacewalking astronauts tackle urgent station repairs

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Spacewalking astronauts are making urgent repairs at the International Space Station. Commander Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer went out Tuesday morning, three days after a critical relay box abruptly stopped working. Source
  • Spacewalking astronauts pull off urgent station repairs

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Spacewalking astronauts completed urgent repairs at the International Space Station on Tuesday, replacing equipment that failed three days earlier and restoring a backup for a vital data-relay system. It took commander Peggy Whitson much longer than expected to install the spare unit. Source
  • Mudlarking: History buffs dig up priceless treasures along London's River Thames

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Sift through the mud on the shores of a Canadian river and you'd be lucky to find a lost necklace amid the washed-up bottle caps and beer cans. But take a walk along the edge of London's River Thames, and there's a good chance you'll find a piece of ancient history. Source