Posted at 11:06 AM ET, 05/19/2011

Stephen Colbert thanks Facebook for helping realize dream of being ‘spammed by Spam’


Kanye West is tagged in this photo thanks to Facebook’s new tagging feature. (Courtesy of Facebook Pages)
Last week, Facebook debuted a new feature that allows users to tag Pages of “Brands & Products” and “People”in personal photographs. This is good news for people who have been itching to tag celebrities and Diet Coke in their Facebook pictures.

If a Page is tagged in a photo, privacy settings still apply. So if a tagged photo is set for everyone to see, it will be included on the Page’s photo tab. While the benefits for the brands include free product placement and increased visibility, it’s not clear if this will be a positive for Facebook users, with some concerned about the possibility of spam.

This is actually a positive to Stephen Colbert, who threw his “support” behind the feature on Wednesday’s “Colbert Report.”

“By letting me tag products in my personal photos, Facebook’s giving my favorite companies a better way to market directly to me,” Colbert said during his “Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger” segment. “Now I can finally realize my life long dream of being targeted by Target, or spammed by Spam.”

Another Facebook photo-tagging feature is not getting a hat tip from a prominent technology leader.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, spoke out against facial recognition technology at a recent conference on Internet privacy, saying it is “unlikely” that Google will develop a similar service. But he said he expects some other company is “going to cross that line.”

In completely unrelated news, Facebook is already using facial recognition software with its “suggested tags” feature, which was added in late 2010. It works this way, according to the site’s blog:

“When you or a friend upload new photos, we use face recognition software — similar to that found in many photo editing tools — to match your new photos to other photos you're tagged in. We group similar photos together and, whenever possible, suggest the name of the friend in the photos.”

Users can use privacy settings to opt of this feature.

Would you tag products and celebs in your Facebook photos? Let us know in the comments.

By  |  11:06 AM ET, 05/19/2011

 
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