What you need to know

  • Google Photos is rolling out face grouping to users in Europe.
  • Face grouping will create albums automatically for you by scanning and identifying the faces in them.
  • If you don't like Google scanning faces in your photos, the feature can be disabled in the settings.

Google Photos is one of Google's most successful apps, and for good reason. The gallery app started out as a great way to browse and back up your photos, but it continues to receive updates that just keep making it better and better.

One of the features it has had for quite some time here in the U.S. and other regions is face grouping, which automatically identifies people and pets in photos and sorts them into albums. This is a feature that I use often to browse photos of friends and family that are in my photo library.

However, until recently, users in Europe were unable to enjoy this functionality. That was, until Engadget spotted yesterday that Google had begun rolling it out to our buddies across the pond. Now, users in Europe will be able to view photos of friends and family grouped together automatically under the People groups in Albums within Google Photos.

While I find the feature incredibly useful and cool, there is a privacy concern for people that are more sensitive to this sort of thing. In order to disable face grouping, simply go into the settings menu and toggle it off under Group similar faces.

As good as the face-grouping feature is, it's not perfect, and it has been known to miss a photo here and there. The good news is, David Lieb, the product lead of Google Photos, mentioned on Twitter back in July that manual face tagging will be coming in the future.

And, in case you needed another reason to love Google Photos, we learned today that Google is using its OCR tech to make it possible to search text within your images. This is the perfect example of why Google Photos is so popular and has over a billion users after only four years.

How to automatically share photos with family and friends in Google Photos