What Social Media Platform learns from our Images?

Submitted By : Arpan Das, Department of BCA(Batch : 2016-2019)

We all use social media nowadays, but very few among us really know what information they can get from those images. Sounds interesting right? In our busy life we use social media to share some of our moments with every friend, but the social media sites also collect some information from those images by the help of Image Processing algorithm and Machine Learning algorithms.

Nowadays most use social media platform is Facebook. In Facebook when we upload our pictures they look at the content of the picture and by determining the objects and background inside the picture they know about the picture, it doesn't matter if you add any description or not.

Whether we are traveling on train or on plane or having delicious food on KFC/DOMINOES, playing with our pet or hanging out with friends or family, Facebook can figure it out accurately by analyzing the images we upload. These social media sites use this machine generated descriptions to make our pictures more accessible to others.


Want to know that what Facebook has to say about your image?

By following this steps you can see what information visual recognition algorithm of facebook found in your image –


  1. First open your facebook account using any browser (Mozilla Firefox, Chrome is suggested).
  2. Open any image that you previously shared on facebook.
  3. Click on the image so that you can view the enlarged version of the image.
  4. Right click on the image to open the options and then choose “Inspect Element” (in case of Firefox browser), it will open the Dev Tools. This will work across all browsers which have Developers Tool built in.
  5. See the “alt” attribute of the image (<img>) tag (if img tag is not visible then expand the <div> tag) and you can see the description that facebook auto generates about your image.

 Visual recognition algorithm can recognize multiple things including objects (sunglasses, cap), people’s expression (are they smiling?), food, clicked indoor or outdoor and many more. The best thing is that if it is a group image then it can accurately tell the exact number of people in the frame.

 These are some sample image with the auto generated description:


You can see facebook correctly determines that there are 5 people sitting indoor, table etc.


In this image it recognizes that people are smiling, people are sitting and even one friend have beard in this image that also recognized.


 In this image it recognizes the person name using the face recognition algorithm, and it recognizes that he’s wearing a glass.

 Personal view about this –

By sharing this I am not saying that don’t use any social media or Facebook or don’t share any image to facebook, I also use facebook. My point is that think before sharing anything to any social media platforms. Nowadays even peoples <18 years also use facebook and they even don’t know about this, they share everything, that’s not the right thing to do. All I want is spread the awareness to everyone so that they can be careful in future.