Suggested Improvements to Facebook Tagging

In this age of facial recognition, one should be able to accurately tag their friends in a photo of a crowd of people.

Facebook allows you to use a crosshair to pin point the spot where you want attention focused. You can then label the point with a tag (a name of your Facebook friends or any name you like). When you hover over the tagged name, your spot is delineated by an empty white-outlined box which is about a square inch in size. Problem is, this can fit several identifiable people or objects.

I can understand our GPS navigators being deliberately off by a couple of houses, probably for privacy reasons, but I don't get the impression that privacy is of major concern to Facebook where photo tagging is concerned.

Yes, Facebook has photo recognition software which they use in suggesting your name to others when they upload pictures that feature your likeness (you may want to disable this feature in your privacy settings). Yet, even their software would have a hard time identifying people in a crowd...especially if they have their backs turned or something. If I am allowed to tag up to 50 people, it would be nice to be able to direct them to various specific points in the picture. Hence, suggestion number one:

1. Facebook should include the crosshair in the square inch box.

In fairness to Facebook, when you hover over the actual image, a black rectangular speech balloon points to a spot at least a quarter of an inch south of the intended point...this is not accurate enough. Apart from identifying people and marketing, the tagging feature could serve other useful functions like education (labeling technical diagrams).

Ok, ok, I agree that this half-decade-old request may be considered too specialized, but what about my second suggestion?:

2. Differentiate between tagging a picture of someone and tagging simply to draw someone's attention to a picture. This can be done by allowing tagging outside the picture frame or allowing a different kind of tag altogether.

This way when Facebook decides to verify my identity by asking me to identify my friends, they won't use pictures of handbags, funny cartoons, and invitation cards!


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