Show tags Facebook adds to photos automatically

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 4, 2017
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook

Whenever you upload a photo to Facebook or one of the company's other services -- more than 2 billion each day -- tags are added to these photos.

One reason for this is that tags help visually impaired users understand photos posted on Facebook. This in turn highlights how far Facebook's image recognition algorithm has come.

Facebook may use the tagging eventually to improve existing services, think search or making sure images don't violate policies, or use it to power entirely new services.

It is also a reminder for anyone that information can be extracted from images that are not part of the image's metadata.

The algorithm that analyzes images on Facebook adds rather basic tags such as sky, tree, or outdoor to images currently.

If you are interested in how Facebook tags photos uploaded by its users to the service currently, you need to install a browser add-on that reveals that for now.

Show tags Facebook adds automatically to photos

facebook photo tags

Show Facebook Computer Vision Tags is a browser add-on for Chrome and Firefox that adds tags to photos on Facebook automatically.

Update: The Chrome extension has been removed from Google Chrome's Web Store, the Firefox add-on is still available. There is no comparable extension available for Chrome at this point in time.

All you need to do is install the extension in your browser of choice, and visit Facebook afterwards. You can check your timeline on the site for instance, and will notice that photos uploaded to the site list tags in the upper right corner now.

Please note that this is only the case for photos uploaded to Facebook, but not for images that are added to posts automatically (this happens when you post a link for instance).

The tags are rather basic currently, and you will notice that some images don't have any tags. This happens when Facebook's image recognition algorithm had issues identifying the image.

The algorithm does not get it right all the time either, even if you set aside photos that have not been tagged at all.

facebook algorithm

The algorithm added the tag "2 people" to the photo above. This is clearly wrong, but it is understandable how an algorithm could make the mistake of thinking these statues are people. Even then, it should have least identified three, if not more, people and not just two.

It does an okay job however for most photos on the site.

Closing Words

The takeaway from this is that Facebook has begun to label images that users upload to the site using image recognition algorithms. If you are particularly interested in how Facebook identifies images that you upload to the site, install the browser extension to find out.

Show tags Facebook adds to photos automatically
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Show tags Facebook adds to photos automatically
Whenever you upload a photo to Facebook or one of the company's other services -- more than 2 billion each day -- tags are added to these photos.
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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

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