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Facebook photos get facial recognition: Cool or creepy?

Photo recognition is coming to Facebook's photo-tagging tool, so when you upload photos, it will trawl through its database of tagged images to find your friends' faces.

When you upload photos on Facebook, you'll soon be able to tag your friends from a list of helpful suggestions, thanks to a new photo-recognition feature.

Drawing upon its vast reserves of existing tagged photos, M-Zuck's social network will soon be able to calculate exactly whose beautiful mug you're uploading, and will group similar faces together, automatically suggesting the name you should tag them with. It should save regular uploaders a few precious minutes.

According to Facebook there are now 100 million photos uploaded every day -- a factoid that, in the bleak and cruel morning after our company Christmas bash, fills Crave with a sense of immense dread and apprehension.

"Tagging is actually really important for control," says Facebook's vice president of product Chris Cox, speaking to our cousins across the pond at CNET News, "because every time a tag is created it means that there was a photo of you on the Internet that you didn't know about. Once you know that, you can remove the tag, or you can promote it to your friends, or you can write the person and say, 'I'm not that psyched about this photo.'

"We wanted to make our photos product not suck."

The facial-recognition tech is expected to roll out to users gradually, with 5 per cent of US Facebook users getting the service some time next week.

In other Facebook news, founder Mark Zuckerberg was anointed Person of the Year by Time magazine. "Facebook has merged with the social fabric of American life, and not just American but human life: nearly half of all Americans have a Facebook account, but 70 per cent of Facebook users live outside the US," said the magazine's lead essay.

"It's a permanent fact of our global social reality. We have entered the Facebook age, and Mark Zuckerberg is the man who brought us here."

What do you think of the new photo service? It sounds useful, but also maybe a little creepy. Are you psyched about photo-recognition, or would you rather Facebook kept its nose out of your... er, face? Let us know in the comments, or of course on our Facebook wall.