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

  • Apple iOS update creates instant storage space

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Time to load up on HD movies and games. Apple device owners may find they suddenly have a lot more storage space for music, videos, photos and apps, thanks to an iOS update that improves the way data is processed and stored on all Apple devices. Source
  • Trump to issue executive order rolling back Obama climate change policies

    Tech & Science CBC News
    President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday aimed at moving forward on his campaign pledge to unravel former President Barack Obama's plan to curb global warming. The order will suspend, rescind or flag for review more than a half-dozen measures in an effort to boost domestic energy production in the form of fossil fuels. Source
  • 'It's devastating': Documentary reveals 'streams' of water pollution from jean industry

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Those jeans you pull on before running out to the corner store were produced by one of the most toxic industries on the planet, according to a new documentary that explores how clothing manufacturers are poisoning the world's water supply. Source
  • Got camera? Facebook adds more Snapchat-like features

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Facebook is adding more Snapchat-like features to its app. The company says it wants to let people's cameras "do the talking" as more people are posting photos and videos instead of blocks of text. Source
  • 2 Canadians win Gairdner Awards for contributions to medical science

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TORONTO -- Two Canadian researchers are among the winners of this year's Gairdner Awards, which recognize some of the most significant medical discoveries made by scientists around the globe. Dr. Antoine Hakim, a professor emeritus of neurology at the University of Ottawa, and Dr. Source
  • Samsung to sell refurbished recalled Note 7 phones

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Samsung announced Monday it would sell some Note 7 smartphones that were recalled for safety reasons as refurbished devices, in an effort to manage its stockpile in an "environmentally friendly" manner. The South Korean giant, the world's largest smartphone maker, said it would sell Note 7s as "refurbished phones or rental phones," after consultations with regulators in various markets. Source
  • Flow reduced in leaking underwater Alaska gas pipeline

    Tech & Science CTV News
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Natural gas spewing into Alaska's Cook Inlet from a ruptured underwater pipeline has been reduced by about half after owners lowered pressure in the line. The pipeline carries gas from onshore to four production platforms owned by Hilcorp Alaska LLC. Source
  • NOAA retires Otto, Matthew as tropical storm names

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Lailoni Kent, 8, of Lake Worth, screams when the pull of the wave was stronger than she thought while playing on the beach and getting photos with her family on Lantana Beach while Hurricane Matthew created big waves, Thursday, Oct. Source
  • 'Australia's own Jurassic Park': Scientists find major dinosaur footprint site

    Tech & Science CTV News
    An 'unprecedented' 21 different types of dinosaur tracks have been found on a stretch of Australia's remote coastline, scientists said Monday, dubbing it the nation's Jurassic Park. Palaeontologists from the University of Queensland and James Cook University said it was the most diverse such discovery in the world, unearthed in rocks up to 140 millions years old in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Source
  • Pollution talks start after dead dolphin found in NY river

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- The death of a dolphin in a New York river that empties into Long Island sound has raised questions about water pollution. Officials say the dolphin was found in the Hutchinson River in Mount Vernon Friday afternoon. Source