Facebook has announced plans to buy the face recognition site Face.com, along with its free mobile app, Klik, which recognizes friends in photos to make tagging on Facebook easier. The acquisition means this feature could be added to Facebook’s mobile app or to the site itself, with possible Instagram integration.
As TechCrunch pointed out yesterday, this is an important move for Facebook and Face.com. The amount of untagged photos on Facebook is huge, especially mobile uploads. These present missed opportunities for interaction. When you are tagged in a photo, it shows up in a friend's news feed without a tag or any notification to friends and family. That’s not always a bad thing (drunken pub crawl photos, anyone?), but tagging in general, whether through photos or events, does make news feeds more relevant to users.
As a side note, this is also a smart way to lessen the time it takes to get to Facebook when autocomplete in Web browsers redirects users to Face.com instead of Facebook.com, but maybe that just happens to me.