iPhoto (iLife’09) + Facebook FAIL

iPhoto has a great new function called Faces. it scans every pic in your library, finds the faces and asks you to ID a few of them. Once you've ID'd a few of one person, iPhoto can do a reasonably good job of finding every other photo of that person in your library! 

I turned it loose on my 9000+ library of photos and I was really impressed with this tool.  It found me reliably quite often. It was only near the bottom of the stack that some of it's choices got a little weird:

Weird that iphoto so often thinks I'm an asian lady.

And now comes the big time fail.

The problems start with the purported Facebook integration, in which you can upload your people-tagged photos to Facebook and the tags go with the photos up to Facebook.

Any FB user knows about face-tagging in the FB user interface. You upload a picture of you and your friends and then you click on one of their faces. A list of your Facebook friends pops up and you select which of them is in the photo. When you are done tagging all the faces in the photo, the photo has all the names of people at the base of the photo. The thing is, all the names are links which you can follow back to that person's facebook page. Cool! And when that person is tagged, they are sent a notification that a photo with them is now on Facebook.

Part of the big deal of iPhoto 09 was the supposed Facebook / iPhoto integration. You can tag your photos in iPhoto using faces:

…and then upload them to Facebook using the Facebook uploader button and they show up in an album in your facebook account.

Cool, right? 

NO, NOT COOL. Because iPhoto does not link the names in the photo with your friends' accounts. So, here's a photo with faces tagged in iPhoto uploaded to Facebook:

See how none of the names are links? They are plain text! They are not linked to my friends' FB accounts!

That means I am back to square one: Upload the damn photos to Facebook and tag them in Facebook the old, slow way. And any changes I make to the photos on Facebook are not carried back to the photos in my iPhoto album.

How lame is that?

I am irritated by this because it's a huge glaring oversight that severely hampers the facebook integration.

So, this is a neat feature but until this oversight is fixed, the integration is largely useless. This is a big oversight and I hope it gets fixed.



Saw the video and the fix. Tried it out. In iPhoto, I added the first and last name to the name place and then the email address below that. I contacted the person in this photo to make sure it was the email address she uses for Facebook.

Then I click Done and watch the little facebook uplink make it's sync circle dance.

And then go to Facebook to check one of the photos:

Same problem – NONE of the names are linked.

What gives, iPhoto'09? What am I doing wrong?


Read and post comments | Send to a friend


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bagpie
    Feb 01, 2009 @ 15:02:00

    heyapparently this is what you need to do, haven't tried it yet though. if you click the litle info button at the bottom right of the persons photo on the faces corkboard there is an option to add their full name and email address. Facebook will only connect your tag with your friends if the email address matched the address they use for facebook.


  2. newiphotouser
    Feb 02, 2009 @ 20:02:00

    Awesome – thanks for the tip on this!


  3. Timmy!
    Feb 02, 2009 @ 20:47:00

    Thanks for your reply. I am going to update the post.


  4. Kimmers
    Feb 03, 2009 @ 20:07:00

    …or a blonde lady with harsh red lipstick… zoiks!


  5. lrochon
    Feb 16, 2009 @ 12:54:00

    Also another way to get this working (if you don't know the person's e-mail) is to manually tag one picture of them on facebook that you've uploaded from iPhoto, after that all the picture you upload of them will be properly tagged. This means however that you need to unpublish ,ie delete the 'facebook album' in iPhoto, any photo's you already have up and then republish them to fix the tags


  6. Christian Lee
    Feb 19, 2009 @ 17:33:00

    I can confirm that it does work if you enter the person's email address under the "Faces" Info option.Be sure you check their "Info" section on their facebook profile and get the right email address.


  7. LeonardKoh
    Mar 01, 2009 @ 18:39:00

    I've encountered the same problem as you and was as frustrated. I also did a bit of finding on this.


  8. LeonardKoh
    Mar 01, 2009 @ 18:40:00



  9. M
    May 18, 2009 @ 08:54:00

    Frankly, it's still a big pain even when you correct the address, a bunch of my FB contacts that I know in real life have used hotmail et al addresses for their facebook pages. But because I know them in real life in my actually address book, which iPhoto also uses, it has a different (read one that actually gets checked) e-mail address!


  10. jyanguas
    Aug 04, 2009 @ 02:54:00

    I've encountered an additional problem with tagging the photos in FB first. When the album synchronizes with iPhoto, some of the tags are lost (mainly, the ones where the face was not clearly recognizable in the photo) so I had to tag them again. But after I did, I opened iPhoto again, it automatically synchronized with FB again and eliminated the tags. Very frustrating!!So I'm now trying to eliminate the FB album from iPhoto, but it won't let me deleted. I've tried and tried and nothing, still there. I've accomplished something by trying to delete the album from iPhoto, though. Now it won't let me upload any additional pictures. I'm running iPhoto 09 (8.0.4).Any clues anyone?


  11. Timmy!
    Aug 04, 2009 @ 09:16:00

    It STILL doesn't work for shit. Even all these months later.


  12. jhn
    Aug 25, 2009 @ 07:31:00

    It works perfectly for me, as long as you have the right email address in.


  13. thisaintnoparty
    Aug 30, 2009 @ 16:13:00

    oh my god… my iphoto is tagging 'kind of' okayish.uploads it to facebook okay.then looking through the pictures on facebook, it has replaced EVERY picture of me and tagged it as some guy who i met once and isnt even in my iphoto faces section because i have 1 PHOTO OF HIM.it gets so annoying. just filled an album with photos and im not tagged in one.have had enough.its just taken to an album i uploaded a few weeks ago and changed me in them.is this an actual problem or just shit?!


  14. love_1776
    Sep 30, 2009 @ 21:14:00

    My iPhoto has gone back and retagged my best friend has a dude and the dude as my best friend on Facebook. It has updated all albums I uploaded to FB through iPhoto and all albums I put up now even though their full names and e-mail addresses are proper in the iPhoto Face card.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: