No doubt that taking selfies is a favorite activity of many people. Well, you may not admit it but in secret, you take one just for the sake of taking it and for your own pleasure. You don’t have any intention to share them so that’s okay. Just check your photo gallery and there are about 70% of selfies. A front-facing camera is an important part of a smartphone because it is used to take photos, record videos, use for video calls, or for face unlock in some devices.
According to Google, there are about 24 billion images labeled as selfies on Google Photos alone. Selfies can be considered as self-expression for many people that they even have fun by adding emojis, stickers, captions, and filters. The latter is something that is widely used these days, sometimes without us knowing that they are on.
Most photo apps today turn on filters by default. This makes it controversial when the topic is self-image. Google has conducted research and studies and discovered that the mental wellbeing of a person can be affected when he doesn’t know that photo or camera app has applied a filter. A beauty standard is set that may result in people comparing themselves with others and more.
Google wants to come up with services and products that protect the wellbeing of the people. Guidelines are now people-centered with the intention to respect personal choices especially when it comes to face retouching. They are supposed to offer transparency and be centered around a design language and control. In other words, the choice must be up to the consumer.
The tech giant suggests that settings on face retouching should be disabled by default. A user must have the choice to enable the feature. The consumers must also be informed if the filters are turned on by default.
Google’s new design principles will be implemented in the Camera app installed on the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. The filters and other face editing features are disabled. A future update will then bring descriptive icons and more information on how every setting is applied.
Snapchat will follow the guidelines by offering an unfiltered camera experience by default. Lens Studio also follows the same by using value-neutral terms for the facial retouching options.