Facebook Moments, the neat photo-sharing app that launched last June in the U.S., is finally available in Canada and Europe — but users will have to live without its best feature. The facial recognition tech that makes the app so good isn’t allowed in these territories.
What’s great about Moments is how easy it makes photo sharing. It identifies the people in your pictures — so long as they’re on Facebook — then gives you the option to make your images available to them. There’s no need to tag people manually, which can take forever.
This is perfectly fine in the U.S., but stricter regulations mean Facebook’s facial recognition features aren’t allowed in many other markets — including Canada and countries throughout the European Union. As a result, Moments can’t identify people automatically there.
The Moments app that’s arriving in these markets today, then, doesn’t have facial recognition built-in, which means you’ll have to identify the friends in your photos manually. However, it will help just a little bit.
The app can group together multiple images that appear to include the same face. “To make this determination, Facebook says it instead uses a form of object recognition, which is based on features like the distance between a person’s eyes and their ears,” reports TechCrunch.
This could make finding a large number of photos with certain people slightly easier, but it won’t be anywhere near as accurate. It also means that users outside of the U.S. will see a new “Who’s this?” interface, which is where you’ll find friend suggestions.
Within this section, you can assign labels to your images that only you can see. The more you use labels, the more accurate Moments should be at suggesting the friends it finds. It can also rely on things like date and time and location to determine which photos should be grouped.
You can download Facebook Moments now for iOS from the App Store, and for Android from Google Play by following the links below.