Facebook has been experimenting on a new upcoming feature for its photo application called “Related photos”. This feature will display similar photos related to the photo you are viewing based on the album of the person who has uploaded the photo and additional photos of the people who are tagged in the photo.
However, A Indian Startup Lifeblob which is a social photo service accused Facebook of blatantly copying the feature from the site.
Here are the few lines of the accusation made by Pranav Bhasin on his personal blog:
Just to set the record straight, we have had this feature ( and a lot more ) at http://www.lifeblob.com for over a year now and facebook has blatantly copied it. Every time you upload a photo on lifeblob, a recommendation engine not only looks at the face tags, but also the other information associated wtih your photo to show you photos that are closely related around it.So when you upload your graduation day photos, we discover other photos of your graduation day and show it next to your photo. What facebook has done is picked up this idea and launched a simple version of it that only uses face tags. Bravo!!
The cofounder also posted a screenshot which clearly demonstrates the similarity between Lifeblob and Facebook. You can also notice the similarity here:
From this similarity, the accusation sounds pretty obvious. However, there is nothing surprising, as it is not the first time the Facebook has done this, in the past there have been several times when they have replicated the features of Friendfeed and done some design changes to look it like Twitter.
However, Facebook, who is recently declared the most visited site, is just too scared of losing its social networking crown that it is going for almost anything even copying from the competition.
However, this accusation of copying innovative features from Indian startup cannot legally drag Facebook in the court of law. As Lifeblob doesn’t have the patent of their features and just merely having an Indian patent may not be sufficient to sue the Facebook in U.S.
Lifeblob is really an awesome Indian startup which let us share unlimited photos with friends and family along with the astounding feature that helps you to browse the photos that are related to you.
After all I do really feel that Facebook did come out with this feature inspired from Indian Startup Lifeblob and Lifeblob is very much helpless to claim its intellectual theft legally.