Face.com, the company behind Facebook apps Photo Finder and Photo Tagger, has publicly launched a free developer community with an open and free API.

The company, which claims to have tagged over 7 billion photos - including over 50 million different faces - states that developers “can tap into Face.com’s face detection and recognition technology and create brand new ways for friends to engage through photos at zero cost”.

Some reports are stating that the API isn't totally unrestricted though - most notably there is a limit whereby developers can only process 200 photos per hour through Face.com's servers. Anything above that is going to cost. So if you're looking to process 7 billion photos you're looking at a time frame of, er... a long time.

However, by opening up its technology for the developers community to get their grubby mitts on, it does mean that facial recognition won't be restricted to official Face.com Facebook apps. There's now an opportunity for a whole host of web and desktop applications powered by the technology.

Are you guys worried that you might be recognised and tagged at locations you'd rather keep hush? Let us know...