Key Russian social network adds facial recognition to photos

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Odnoklassniki, is the second largest social network in Russia, behind Vkontakte, and is part of the recently floated Mail.Ru Group. Facebook’s market share in Russia has never passed 5%, according to ComScore (or 5 million people a month). Odnoklassniki has 25-26 million visitors a month. That gives some context to the news today that Odnoklassniki today launches a new face detection feature powered by Israeli-based startup face.com, which already provides its technology to Facebook.

The two new features are: face detection and facial recognition. Face detection makes it possible to automatically determine the number of people in a photo and provide users with a an easier tool for tagging.

Facial recognition comes after the platform has been taught to recognise lots of faces via tags (clearly), eventually reducing tagging to a simple «yes» or «no» question.

Despite this move, Odnoklassniki says they are “seriously considering their users privacy.” Let’s hope so. It says private photo albums will remain un-trawled by Face.com’s app, and users will also be able to prevent the system from tagging them by changing their personal settings.

Odnoklassniki expects a billion photos to be added by users by the end of this year.