Key Russian social network adds facial recognition to photos

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, 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’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.