Facebook is rolling out a new app called Photo Sync that when users user enable the app, every photo they take on their mobile device gets automatically uploaded to their Facebook account. The photos are saved to a private folder that you can choose which photos to share and caption. But this makes uploading photos infinitely easier from a user's perspective. All of the new photos also allow Facebook to access and use them for data-mining purposes.
Facebook was already taking in 300 million photos a day, and that rate is about to dramatically increase. It’s now ushering users onto its background uploads feature Photo Sync with a big banner at the top of its mobile apps’ news feed. Just two taps and your last 20 photos plus every one you take in the future are auto-uploaded to a private album from which you can share and Facebook can mine metadata.
Below is an excerpt from Josh Constine's blog post about Photo Sync on Tech Crunch.
"The Roll out of Photo Synch that started yesterday is perhaps the biggest thing to happen to Facebook photos beyond friend tagging and manual mobile uploads. Friend tagging jump started Facebook’s growth with a jolt of narcissism over a half decade ago. If someone tagged you in a photo, you likely checked it out the second you got the notification, along with all the other photos in the album. Later it began offering photo sharing from mobile, but its biggest problem remained the arduous upload process...You’ll see the full force of Photo Sync if Facebook combines it with its facial recognition feature. Rather than tagging friends manually, Facebook will analyze your Photo Synced album for the mugs of friends, apply tags automatically, and all you’ll have to do is approve them.
In the meantime, Facebook is probably going to suck in some terms of service violations and other very private photos. Even if people know that no one else can see them, some might panic when they see photos of them drunk, sloppy, nude, or in otherwise compromising positions within the Facebook Chrome. Right now Facebook doesn’t do a great job of explaining how the feature works so it could cause some to be caught by surprise, freak out, and turn it off.
But that’s probably worth it to Facebook because of the immense amount of photo metadata Photo Sync will give it...the feature is essentially Facebook’s entrance into cloud storage. While you might not share all the photos you upload, Facebook can still pull out geolocation to help it figure out where you are now and what local business ads to show you.. Eventually, brand recognition like the ability to identify Nike shoes in your photos could aid ad targeting too."
You can read the full blog post by Josh Constine here.