I'm not comparing apples to oranges here. That would go beyond my thesis of the moment. As my argument goes: Socionics is "bad." But it is not ALL "bad." Socionics has developed a superior nomenclature that looks like that of the MBTI. The MBTI itself is turning more and more back toward Jungian function analysis. It's theory is beginning to look more like Socionics, but its lettering nomenclature has stayed with traditional MBTI. Therefore, considering the Jungian interpretation these days, the MBTI may as well adopt the Socionics lettering nomenclature (viz., the small j and p).
"I absorb energy like a sponge everywhere I go. It allows me to see the world and my purpose in it." Zak Bagans, Ghost Adventures (INFJ)
Typing by face, known as Visual Identification, is not actually part of mainstream 'Classical' Socionics. It is mostly upheld by Sergei Ganin on his offshoot site, unfortunately named www.socionics.com.
Socionics improves on MBTI in numerous areas, it's more comprehensive, includes values as well as strengths and weaknesses, has theories on inter-type compatibility, YES solves that whole IxxJ IxxP issue etc. It just has a lot of crazy people with crazy theories that people confuse with Socionics proper. There's one person who tries to type you based on what colours you like.
Without these setbacks, Socionics would have become a lot more well known in the West than it has so far.
I just don't understand the differences in mbi functions vs socionics ones. I always get as INFp but don't get why I'm Ni/Fe when I dont relate to those functions based on the definitions I know them by. also I think the descriptions are all poorly translated Russian which doesn't help matters. and yeah the photo typing is stupid, especially since the drawings are all based on Russian faces. although I do look a little similar to the IEI drawing.. but I'm also of eastern European ancestry.
Socionics Ni and Fe (I try to call them Ii and Ee to avoid confusion with MBTI) don't work the same way as their MBTI variants.