What to Remember to Get Facebook Photo Tagging Right

Facebook privacy is a tricky thing.

On the one hand, you want to make yourself as accessible as possible, so that new friends and followers can find you, and you can expand your network.

On the other hand, though, you don’t necessarily want to give up all your privacy – and as useful as features like facial recognition can be, they can also feel just a teensy bit creepy.

That’s why it’s so important to know exactly how Facebook’s different features work.

And one of the most important ones to understand is tagging.

Tagging users and Pages in photos and status updates is a perfectly convenient way to make sure they get noticed – or get credit!

But there are a lot of weird little rules and settings regarding how tags work, including differences between what you can do as a person and what you can do as a Page.

(Even for pros, it can get kind of confusing.)

So right now, it’s time for a quick refresher on what you can and can’t do when tagging people and Pages on Facebook.

Let’s take a look!

Facebook Tagging and your Privacy - What you need to know to get it right - Meet Edgar

For starters…

Anyone can tag a Page – but tagging a person doesn’t always work.

Using default privacy settings, Facebook profiles can tag other profiles, and they can tag Pages – whether or not they’ve liked that those Pages.

(So you can tag Vin Diesel’s Facebook Page in your Chronicles of Riddick fan art, even if you haven’t yet followed it.)

If you’re a Facebook Page, though, the rules are a little different – and a LOT trickier.

For example, your Facebook Page can tag people in its videos or photos – but only if that person has liked your Page.

If your profile is Facebook friends with someone, though, you can tag them on your own Facebook Page’s photos or videos, even if they haven’t liked that Page!

(See? Tricky!)

It gets a little more complicated when you factor in Facebook’s options for reviewing tags.

Not everybody wants to be tagged in things without a little warning – or without having some say in the visibility of those tags.

That’s why Facebook has two different options for reviewing tags and controlling their visibility.

(And they have VERY similar names, so pay close attention to this part!)

Tag review is when you (a Facebook user) get notified anytime someone tries to add a tag to one of your Facebook posts. You receive that notification before the tag is approved for public view, so you get to decide whether or not the tag is allowed.

Timeline review is when you (a Facebook user) get notified anytime someone tags you in a post. You are then allowed to decide whether or not the post with that tag appears in your own Timeline.

(And don’t forget, people can always untag themselves from photos and videos after you tag them – even if they previously approved of the tag.)

That’s just what Facebook profiles can control – and just like before, the way this stuff works with Pages is just a little bit different.

Pages have a LOT more control over who can tag them.

While Facebook profiles have tools like tag review and timeline review, they don’t have the option to completely prevent being tagged in the first place.

Pages, on the other hand, DO have that option.

Nobody can tag your Facebook Page unless you want them to – nor can they tag the media your Page uploads.

On your Facebook Page, go to settings, and you’ll see these options:

If you want to upload photos without allowing people to tag them, you have that option – and you can prevent people from tagging your Page altogether, if you want.

(Just keep in mind that tagging is an easy way for people to create links from their updates to your Page, and that by preventing tagging altogether, you’re limiting their ability to send people in your direction!)

Now, when it comes specifically to images, there’s another big difference between how tags work for profiles and how they work for Pages:

Your Facebook Page doesn’t aggregate photos that it’s been tagged in.

When you look at the Photos tab of your Facebook profile, you’ll see sections labeled AlbumsYour Photos, and Photos of you.

That last one is where Facebook aggregates the images you’ve been tagged in, regardless of who uploaded and/or tagged them.

Your Facebook Page, on the other hand, doesn’t have one of these.

It still has albums, and places for automatically organizing things like your profile pictures and cover photos, but it doesn’t aggregate and display images in which other people have tagged your Page.

So while it may make you a tiny bit nervous to think that people could be out there tagging your Page in random photos without your consent, don’t worry – your fans aren’t likely to see those pictures anyway, unless they’re friends with whoever is posting them.

With all this stuff in mind regarding how people can tag you and your Page, then, you should always remember this last lesson when you’re the one doing the tagging:

Whether or not you can tag someone or something depends almost entirely on THEM.

If there’s one thing to learn from all of this, it’s that Facebook’s tagging rules are complicated.

They change whether you’re tagging an image or an update, whether you’re friends with a person, whether that person has liked a certain Page, whether you’re doing it as a profile or as a Page, and so on, and so on.

Most importantly, though, they change depending on what a user wants.

Maybe you could have sworn you tagged someone in a photo, but it’s not showing up because they removed the tag.

Maybe you’re trying to tag a Page in an update, but it’s not working because that Page doesn’t allow others to tag it.

Maybe you tried to tag your own Page on someone else’s photo, but they have tag review turned on and rejected it.

You can’t always know what someone’s settings are in advance – so don’t let tagging stress you out!

Ultimately, it’s one of those “try and see if it works” sorts of things. You can control your own settings, but you can’t predict all the variables when it comes to someone or something else – and that’s okay.

The real question is: do you allow people to tag YOUR Facebook Page?

As we saw, you can prevent people from tagging the media your Page posts, and you can prevent them from tagging your Page at all – so what’s YOUR stance on it?

Do you give people carte blanche for the sake of being as connected as possible?

Do you play it super safe?

Or is it somewhere in between?

Tell us what you think in the comments below!


Article Name
What to Remember to Get Facebook Photo Tagging Right
Facebook photo tagging is complicated - and you can't always predict whether it'll even work. Here's why.
Publisher Name
Meet Edgar
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  1. defmuse says:

    Hey Laurie,

    So, like you, I have my regular Facebook account AND a band/music/business page. I had uploaded an album to my music page, and through my regular account, tagged myself, along with my bandmates. That’s pretty straight forward.

    However, via my regular profile, if I go to the “Photos of You” section, I see the pic that I tagged myself in, but cannot make it the profile pic for my regular account. It only gives me the option to make it the profile pic for my music page, or for the album cover.

    I remember we used to be able to do this without any hassle. Any tips on how I can make this tagged pic (off my music page) the profile pic of my regular account (so that I do not lose the likes, comments, etc.)?

    • Tom VanBuren says:

      You’re right – when a photo is posted to another person’s Facebook profile and you’re tagged in that photo, you can very easily make that photo your new profile picture. It that photo is posted to a page, on the other hand, it’s not quite so simple!
      While you can’t make that photo your new profile picture *from the photo*, you do have an option: Go to your Facebook profile, and hover over your profile picture so that you can click “Update Profile Picture.” This will bring up a box that includes photos you’re tagged in, and the photo from your page should be there, too!

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  3. Couple of things. First of all great post as this is so darn confusing and you need to actually print this out and hang it on a wall to refer to it to untangle the confusion, but you did a good job of it. Second, how do you get your gifs so small? They fit so nicely in your email blasts and blogs and they are outstanding. I have tried to use gifs and they are way too large and always fail. Third thing. What is your blog RSS Feed. I would love to share your content via my MeetEdgar stream! That is all for now. Thanks so much for your great content. Sorry I missed the webinar today, but I look forward to the recording.

    • Tom VanBuren says:

      Hey there! Thanks so much – glad this was helpful (though you’re right about it being super confusing)! For GIFs on the blog, we either embed directly from Giphy, or we create our own – often using Giphy Capture, which is a free app that makes it easy to adjust the factors that impact file size the most (dimensions, length, frame rate, etc.) — you can check that out here: https://giphy.com/apps/giphycapture
      And if you’re looking for our RSS, you can find it here: meetedgar.com/feed/
      Hope that clears things up a bit – and hope you like that webinar!

  4. Anna Sanfilippo says:

    Personally – I do not allow tags unless I review and approve them. I have saved myself a lot of grief in the process!

  5. Tom VanBuren says:

    It sounds like your Facebook Page has a section where people can write reviews (check the sidebar widget on the left of your Page). If you want to get rid of that, you can do it under Settings –> Edit Page!

    • Jools Stone says:

      Thanks Tom! But no the word I meant to type was preview, not review. I welcome reviews, not that I ever get any! 🙂

      • Tom VanBuren says:

        Got it! In either case, I definitely recommend spending some time in your Page’s settings – customizing them can make your notifications make a lot more sense!

  6. Bonnie Katherine Taylor says:

    I posted a group of photos from my birthday and tagged a “friend” in 3 of the photos. 1 of the photos was of the 2 of us together and I noticed today when I went to his Facebook to post happy birthday on his wall for his birthday, that he had deleted the photo of us from the group of 3 photos. I then went to my Facebook and saw that the picture is also deleted from my Facebook as well. How is this possible for another person to completely delete a photo they were tagged in from my profile too?

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