Facebook’s photo-sharing app Moments will not be made available in Europe due to concerns about its use of facial recognition, it has been revealed.
The app, which allows users to share mobile-phone photos with friends without posting them publicly, was launched in the US this week.
The Irish data regulator said that users must be given a choice about whether they want it, with an opt-in.
There is currently no timetable for such a feature, said Facebook.
Richard Allen, Facebook’s head of policy in Europe said: “We don’t have an opt-in mechanism so it is turned off until we develop one.”
Moments arranges the photos on someone’s mobile phone into groups, based on when they were taken. The facial recognition technology can identify Facebook friends to whom users can then forward the photos.
Both Twitter and Facebook are competing with other tech giants, including Apple, Google, PayPal and the leading credit card companies to own the emerging mobile payment sector, which is immensely popular with consumers and has proven fertile territory for startups. More specifically, the leading technology companies are seeking an advantage in so-called peer-to-peer payments, which are typically smaller payments sent from one person to another. Individuals could use such payments, for example, when they are splitting a bill or to wire money.
Did you hear the one about Facebook charging $2.99 per month for access?
Recently, the Facebook fee hoax started circulating on, yes, Facebook, and you didn’t have to be an investigative journalist to debunk the thing. You just had to look at the company’s revenue numbers. Facebook’s 1.3 billion users are so valuable as advertising targets, the company would never run the risk of cutting any of them off with a paywall.
But, as it turns out, Facebook is willing to risk alienating its users in other ways. It also sees tremendous value in using its social network to experiment on those 1.3 billion souls—so much value that it’s still worth losing a few here and there.
If anything in recent memory comes close to validating off-repeated conspiracy theories about the motives of Facebook, it was the company’s now infamous “emotional contagion” study published over the summer. In the study, Facebook researchers tweaked the News Feeds of nearly 700,000 users—without their knowledge—to see if more positive or negative updates from friends induced the same emotions in the users themselves. The outcry was swift and loud, and now, several months later, Facebook says it’s being more careful in how it conducts its research. But there’s no sign that it’s stopping.
Anyone who has even breathed in the vicinity of a website redesign knows that there is no more perfect time for every single site user to say exactly what they think about the terrible, horrible changes that never should have been made in the first place. Now consider Facebook FB, with its 1.23 billion subscribers, most of whom feel quite proprietary about the site. Who wants to mess with a billion avid users?
Margaret Gould Stewart does. As Facebook’s director of product design, it’s her job to make sure the site’s latest layout changes don’t tilt the love-hate Facebook equation too far toward “hate.” The Silicon Valley veteran, who led user experience teams at YouTube and Google before joining Mark Zuckerberg’s crew, says that designing for the masses brings up particular challenges: Any pixel tweak could rankle half the population of the internet. Here’s how she does it