Facebook announced a whole new set of features the company is rolling out for the special winter holiday season. Most important of them all, is a face recognition tool for sharing photos with your friends and family along with a complete makeover to its Messenger app.

The face recognition tool will be available to everyone globally, except for users in Canada and the European Union. It will help users share their photos easily with their connections. While it may be a tough task to go through all the pictures you snap during holiday season and filter them to send specific stills to specific people, Facebook thinks that it could help solve this problem using face recognition.

The new feature scans through all the pics on your smartphone and identifies the people in them using face recognition. Using this data, Messenger will then recommend you to send the pictures to the people present in them.

The feature was initially rolled out just for Android but now, iOS users can also take benefit from it.

Here’s what you need to do to get the service up and running:

  • Make sure the feature is enabled (you can do this by going into your “Settings” menu in Messenger, but you’ll also be prompted to try Photo Magic – you can say “Try It” or choose to “X” it out)
  • Once you take a photo with your friends, you’ll get a reminder to send the photo to them (the photo will not be sent unless you tap Send)
  • If you choose not to share the photo, hit “Cancel”

The other important update is that Facebook’s Messenger service seems to be getting a holiday season makeover.

Folks at Facebook want you to make Messenger your space by setting custom color choices, emoji and nicknames.

For iOS, tap on the people’s names at the top of a conversation to change your family group thread to a festive red, update your mom’s formal first and last name to just “Mom,” or change the emoji response in your holiday meet up group from the thumbs up to something more timely, like a party hat. For Android, tap the info button in the top right. Anyone in the conversation can change the colors, nicknames and emojis as many times as they want, and when you make a change, the people you’re talking to will see what updates you selected.

the blog post announcing the services reads.

And now, it will literally snow when you talk to someone. You also get holiday season-themed stickers which will allow you to share your excitement with your friends and family.

You will also be temporarily getting the beloved snow globe effect for chat heads on Android. This will make your friends’ chat heads will appear as winter wonderlands (if you’re north of the Equator). Similarly, to celebrate the new year later on, your friends’ chat heads will become confetti-filled.


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