Meta’s AI Image Generator – Imagine

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Quest VR headsets, has expanded its presence in the text-to-image AI generator game. Previously available within Facebook and Instagram Messengers, Meta has now launched a standalone text-to-image AI generator service called “Imagine”.

Imagine, accessible at, allows users to generate images by simply visiting the website and logging in with their Meta or Facebook/Instagram accounts. AI artists have already started using Meta’s Imagine to produce high-quality imagery quickly, drawing comparisons to other popular AI image generators such as Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and OpenAI’s DALL-E.

While Imagine’s interface is minimalistic, featuring a prompt field and four generated images available for download, it lacks options for remixing or resizing the imagery beyond a 1:1 aspect ratio square. Additionally, all generated images include a watermark in the lower right corner reading “Imagine”. However, Meta plans to increase transparency and traceability by adding an invisible watermark to the images in the near future.

Meta’s Imagine aims to provide a functional and free competitor to existing AI art generators, many of which require paid subscriptions. Leveraging its vast trove of training data, specifically human figures from the 1.1 billion Facebook and Instagram user photos, Meta’s underlying AI model called Emu powers the Imagine service. By training on user data rather than scraping artworks from the web, Meta takes a prudent approach to avoid copyright violation.

Meta researchers fine-tuned Emu around quality metrics, finding that a small amount (a couple of thousand) of exceptionally high-quality images and associated text significantly impacted the aesthetics of the generated images without compromising the generality of the model. Interestingly, although Meta supports open source AI, neither Emu nor the Imagine service is currently open source. It remains to be seen if Meta will make them open source in the future.

The Imagine rollout is part of Meta’s broader updates across its apps, introducing new AI-enabled features. These updates include a “reimagine” feature in Facebook Messenger and Instagram messages, allowing users to create new AI-generated images based on text prompts by long-pressing on existing images.

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