The more time you spend online, the more often you will start wondering about this particular thing: can you perform a face recognition image search? In other words, if you have the photo of a person, can you perform a search in order to find out who that person is?
Well, as scary as that might sound for the ones who value privacy, you can! And in today’s article we’ll learn just that: how to search the internet based on an image of a person you want to find out more about.
This is helpful for many reasons: first of all, this so called “reverse image search” (or “similar image search”) helps you find out if a person is real or not. In many occasions, you will find out that the online identity of a particular person is actually stolen from somebody else. That nice guy or lady you’ve been talking to? Their profile photo (and all the photos they send) could be somebody else’s. And if you can’t really make sure by performing a safety check – like going on a live video stream with them, you have this method.
But performing a face recognition image search – or a “people search” – over the internet can have various reasons. Maybe you met somebody in a bar, but no longer have their number. Maybe you’re just curious. It doesn’t really matter. As long as that person is online and is sharing their photo on some services, chances are you will find them and do so easily.
So, no matter what your reasons are, let’s find out the answer to the question: Is there a way to search a person’s face on the internet? And especially – how to do it yourself easily.
Google’s “Search by Image” Feature
Usually, the easiest way to find somebody’s face online or perform a face recognition search is by using the best search engine out there: Google. They have a feature called “Search by image” which allows you exactly that: upload an image and they will search for similar ones. And works flawlessly.
However, at the moment of writing this article, searching by image is only possible on the Desktop version of Google search. So it doesn’t work on mobiles yet.
Therefore, if you want to search the internet based on somebody’s photo with Google, you will have to go to google.com and either tap the “Images” button in the upper right corner in order to move to the image search engine, or simple search for anything on google, then tap the “Images” tab below the search box (after getting the search results). Or click here.
Once you get there, simply tap the camera icon near the search bar:
In the new tab the pops up, select “Upload an image” in order to use a photo from your computer:
If the photo is online, you can also use the direct url to search for it, but it’s easier to search by uploading the photo directly.
Now hit search and let Google work its magic! You will get a lot of image results based on your search. It’s that easy!
This is a service linked mostly to the Russian market as it can perform a face recognition search based by images you upload, but is limited to the vk.com platform. However, it’s better than nothing and since it’s not just Russia who uses that particular social network, but most of its neighboring countries (and even other people from all over the world), you have a high chance of finding similar people. You never know what you can find there, so it’s always worth doing a search as well!
You can check out FindFace and go for their face recognition search here.
A really solid website that focuses on face recognition software and has various tweaks that guarantee amazing results. You can check them out here – just upload your file and start the search program. They seem to be in beta though and sometimes I get some completely crazy results: for example, searching for my face (I am a clean shaven white dude in my mid 30s) gave me one match only: a black guy in his 20s, sporting a beard. So yes, it can have its hiccups, but worth trying too!
This one has indexed over 22 BILLION images, so you can find out a lot using them. However, one downside here is that they’re not using a face recognition software, but instead search for identical or similar photos. So if you took a photo of a person, there are slim chances it will find anything. But if somebody sent you a photo claiming it was their own, you can run it through this search engine and see if it has been stolen from somewhere else. Check it out here.
All in all, I believe that the safest bet is Google’s Search By Image option when you’re dealing with a photo of somebody’s face. It’s a service that is a bit more advanced than all of the competitors (maybe similar to FindFace, but that’s limited in terms of results).