Coca-Cola on Thursday launched a facial-matching Facebook application called the Coke Zero Facial Profiler.
As long as users have at least three photos of themselves in their Facebook profile, the application searches across other pictures from Facebook users that have used the app to find someone whose face matches theirs most accurately. Those that don't have three images can either upload a picture into the app from their desktop or capture a picture from their Webcam.
I had a chance to use the app this afternoon. After it is added to your profile, you can immediately direct it to find pictures in your profile. That process takes a little longer than I would have liked, but it wasn't so bad that I wanted to move on.
To match up my face to someone else's, I took a picture with my Web cam. After I chose the picture I wanted to use, the app asked me to drag my image to match the shadowed outline of a head. I also needed to move markers over my eyes to ensure that the application was reading my image correctly.
My only issue with Coca-Cola's facial-matching app is that it took too long to find a match. I realize that it's searching through several faces to find the right person, but the experience left me wishing that it would end sooner than it did.
After finding a match (the app said it was a 60 percent fit), I was given the option of connecting with the person I matched up with. It was a nice option, but I was unsure how that conversation would go--"So, you don't know me, but our faces are about 60 percent alike. Wanna be friends?"--so I opted against it.
Overall, Coca-Cola's app is worth trying out once or twice, even if just for a laugh. But until more people try it out, and their images are added to the database, I'm just not sure that it has the kind of lasting power. I would come back to it in a month or two to see if the matching can improve, though.