Correctly map iPhoto ’09 Faces to contacts on Facebook

  • September 14th, 2009

Apple’s latest iPhoto ’09 has grown up and gone social. The updated version includes Facebook & Flickr integration – to supplement the existing MobileMe support – for your photo sharing needs. From Apple’s description page:

  • Facebook – To publish photos to your Facebook account, just select the photos you want to share and click the Facebook button. iPhoto even converts names you added using Faces to Facebook name tags.
  • Flickr – Sharing on Flickr is just as easy: Click the Flickr button. When you share your photos on Flickr, the locations you added using Places appear on Flickr photo maps.

I recently helped Syl setup a new MacBook Pro which meant migrating all of her files and photos. Once the data was moved and organized, we setup iPhoto ’09 to access both Flickr & Facebook. Before long, a large percentage of the photo library was analyzed by iPhoto’s Faces. Then the frustration began with incorrectly tagged contacts.

Sharing photos via Facebook

Screen shot 2009-09-13 at 10.38.09 PMWhen it came time to share a small album of photos directly to Facebook, the process couldn’t have been any easier. Simply identify the photos to share, then select the Facebook button towards the bottom of the window.

Uploading photos requires no other interaction or input once Facebook is selected. Edits and recognized Faces tags are uploaded with the photos. And so begins the frustration and tedious cleanup of mistakes.

Correctly mapping iPhoto Faces with Facebook contacts

Apple does not make the most important detail for integration between iPhoto and Facebook easy to find. In order for Faces tagged in iPhoto to correctly link to their corresponding profile(s) on Facebook, the email address for the contact in iPhoto must match the address on file in Facebook.

If the email addresses do not match, contact tags in Facebook will not link to a profile page or notify a contact new photos have been uploaded.

Fix incorrect Faces meta data

Faces polaroidFirst, navigate to the Faces view in iPhoto. Hover over a contact polaroid until the subtle info icon appears. Select info to view a expanded contact info panel.

Edit the Faces title & first and last name (optional). The important field to edit is the email address. The email address should match that found on your friends Facebook Info page under Contact Information. Fortunately, iPhoto automatically updates any edits (including Faces info updates) and sends them to Facebook automatically when you select the set in the sidebar.

As long as you have the correct email in iPhoto which matches that on Facebook, your Faces tags will always link to the appropriate profile page. Now if only Apple updated Address Book with Facebook contacts integration…