When Digital Wellbeing started, it was initially determined how often users would use their phones. However, this is largely true of other aspects of life and technology. Google is now bringing digital wellbeing to the concept of face retouching in camera and photo apps, starting with the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G.
According to Google, over 70% of photos on Android use the front-facing camera, while 24 billion photos have been tagged as selfies in Google Photos. This clear trend coincides with the popularity of filters.
We want to better understand the impact filtered selfies can have on people’s wellbeing – especially when filters are turned on by default. We conducted several studies and spoke to child and mental health experts from around the world. If you don̵7;t know that a camera or photo app has applied a filter, the photos can have a negative impact on your mental well-being.
After researching how “standard filters can quietly set a standard of beauty that some people compare themselves to,” Google created “not yet live” personalized guidelines that focus on facial retouching.
Namely, they should be disabled by default and users should be given ultimate control over whether or not face retouching is enabled. When this option is checked, they should be clearly labeled, while controls related to the function should not be associated with “beauty”. This means that symbols and language are “neutral” so that you can decide what retouching means.
The Google Camera app on Pixel devices is the first to apply these principles. Face retouching is disabled by default on Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, while these “neutral, descriptive symbols and labels” will be introduced in an upcoming update. Finally, it shows how each setting is applied and what changes it makes to your image.
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