It was reported yesterday the Facebook acquired Israeli facial recognition app Face.com for roughly $100 million. The app is assumed to be capable of inadvertently bolstering higher mobile ad revenues by keeping better tabs on the social network’s book of faces. Though some think that once the computing power required to run quick facial search is up to speed, Facebook will essentially be able to ‘tag’ the entire interent. In a matter of speaking.
Upworthy CEO Eli Pariser states, “The ability to search by face will shatter many of our cultural illusions about privacy and anonymity… [it will be] as if the whole Internet has been tagged on Facebook.” Abby Johnson interviewed Face.com CEO Gil Hirsch last month, who explained that his platform is not creepy – Facebook must have agreed.
Still, it’s not like the technology will be solely confined to Facebook. The reason Google Image Search hasn’t incorporated a facial recognition system is because of the aforementioned lack of infrastructure to make search times acceptable. Which leads into another consideration – How might facial recognition software bolster Facebook search, if it decides to one day directly go up against Google? In a recent interview on the Charlie Rose Show, Google CEO Larry page stated, “It’s something that we take seriously (commenting on Facebook’s competition in search) just like we do social media.” Below is a clip of the interview:
It will be interesting to see where everyone is at in 10 years – will Google still be on top? Will Facebook be like Myspace, or completely out of control? Time will tell.