TechCrunch is pointing to a couple of Israeli articles from TheMarker, which are written in hebrew, claiming that Face.com turned down an acquisition offer from Facebook, and that the company is already powering facial recognition in Facebook’s own Photos feature.
Both of these things are rumors, but interesting ones. Face.com isn’t talking about it one way or another (which means they aren’t exactly denying it or confirming it).
We talked with Face.com founder Gil Hirsch last year, when the company opened up its API to allow developers to take advantage of its technology.
At that point, Face.com had scanned billions of photos and tagged over 50 million users through its apps. I can’t imagine how much those numbers have increased since the launch of the API.
"What it means for us, is you can now apply facial recognition on your social graph," he explained. You can take the functionality to ther websites. "You can take it outside the walled garden [of Facebook]," he said. You can ID your Facebook friends in Picasa or Flickr photos for example.
Face.com was showing off apps that let users add Face tagging to any image on a webpage and insert friends’ faces into images for things like e-cards, posters, etc.
"Privacy is something from day one we’ve put in everything we do," he assured us, adding that Face.com applies the same logic that applies inside of Facebook – You can only ID people within your social graph.
I’m not sure that will make everyone comfortable, but it is what it is.
Last month, Facebook announced its Facial recognition feature in Facebook Photos.