Searching for someone through the Internet should save time and effort. But what if you only have a picture of that person? Is there any way to get the name of a specific person appearing in a photo? Or do you need special tools to learn more about a celebrity or anyone you discovered through Facebook, Instagram, or other social media networks?
Now, face recognition technology is not the same as years ago. Using reverse image search these days is a smart way to identify people in a photo and locate them in different social apps and websites.
In today’s guide, we’ll talk about the different solutions that let you search, then find a specific person using his or her picture only. Best of all, there are many tips and tricks to help you figure out who that user is on social media by seeing their name, contact numbers and other details.
Finding someone using a picture
Searching for a friend you know with their photo should take less than a few minutes of your time when you use the right ways. So, first, verify that the picture you want to search through is really of that person and not of someone else. That happens a lot with TikTok, Instagram, and other apps where people use fake photos of others.
1. Social Catfish (social reverse image search)
The technology and search algorithm behind this tool is the best in today’s world of reverse image search. In fact, the database combines the data from lots of sources such as public records and other databases when searching for someone is not that easy. You don’t have to work with search filters. All you need to do is upload that person’s picture. Then get their profiles on social media and other details.
Some of the information that you can discover about people from their photos are:
- The real name
- The list of addresses
- Phone numbers
- Their possible social media accounts with usernames and other pictures
- Possible phone numbers and further contact details such as emails, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.
- And different types of information and data when that’s available.
What can you use this method for?
In addition to searching for people online with photos, you can locate old friends on Facebook or other sites when all you have about them is a memory photo taken years ago. That same photo might be appearing on someone else’s profile on Facebook. Thus, that user might be one of your old classmates, colleagues etc…
On the other hand, people choose this advanced search engine to find out who someone is by a picture only. That should be useful to avoid scammers on dating sites like Tinder or Badoo.
Now, talking about tracing people on social media, here’s how you can find a person by a photo on Instagram, for example. First, make sure that the photo is clear and in HD, if possible. That’s what makes the reverse search faster, easier, and more accurate. Next, use any of these search engines and upload that photo. Next, wait a few moments for the site to collect data associated with that file, and when that’s done, you should get a list of results.
From there, click on some photos, and there could be profiles on Instagram, Facebook, or other sites that use that same file.
2. Google reverse image search
Google is the largest search engine for people, and information. Over the years, Google built giant data centers to store photos and details about users on social networks and sites. So, it’s the right place to search for people with pictures.
Using Android devices:
Here’s how to find the name of a person in a photo and discover their social profiles. First, open the Google images search on your smartphone or the main app. Next, click on the small camera icon appearing inside the search bar. Once you do that, you’ll get the “search by image” feature. Now, upload the picture from your device and let Google show you the sites and pages where that file appears.
Please note, if you’re using an iPhone, you need to use the Google app. Otherwise, the search engine will keep asking you to use their official app to search by image. In addition, there’s another option that allows you to explore with your phone camera.
If you use another device with a different OS, make sure you follow the steps from Google.
For iPhone and iPad
To find someone you lost contact with a picture or for other reasons, open the Google app on your iPhone. Next, click on the camera icon, which will open the Google Lens feature.
Now, you’ll get the option to “search with your camera”. Or click on the blue button saying “Allow access” to let the app show your gallery and choose one to search with.
Finally, you should see “visual matches” within the Google lens feature. If you choose to click on any image from the search results, Google will show you the page of that file. But even if that’s a good search feature, Google shows both that same image and other similar ones in the search results. So, it won’t be that accurate all the time to find a specific image and the person behind it with Google Lens alone.
If you’d like to use your laptop to learn more about someone by their picture, then it’s easier than the smartphone method. When using a laptop, you get a better user experience because of the larger screen size. All you need is to visit the Google images site, then click on the camera icon.
Finally, upload the file and watch for search results to appear.
Every image will redirect to the website behind. So if that person has an account on Facebook, for example, you’ll see their profile and details.
3. Getty Images
Thousands of people, including journalists and celebrities, use this well-known site to search for images. But that’s one of the main search methods. In fact, Getty Images has a built-in feature to search by picture or a video, which is not easy to find these days. Even if you have a video and you need to identify people on that file, upload it. After that, the site will extract the photos there and may show you the exact file with similar images.
Once you click the photos that the search engine finds, you get the places where that picture was taken, and other info. Unlike Google, this site does not accept all the file formats. So ensure you only upload one of the following photo formats:
The TinEye website has a custom-made search algorithm that was one of the first reverse image search solutions years ago. It was a successful site with millions of users worldwide. The best part of this search engine is its ability to find a specific person appearing with other people in the same photo.
The algorithms can identify one person among others within the same picture. That’s possible even if someone has edited or modified that file in any way. That works from photos used with a crop, orientation change, additions etc…
That means, you can search for a specific person appearing in a picture with other guys or girls.
There is also the possibility to search for people by the image URL from other sites or social media. Hence, it’s better to try that URL first, as many websites stop crawling a URL from external sources. Just open that image by clicking on its link in a new incognito window. Next, verify the photo and see if you can view it.
In case you think you’ll use the TinEye reverse image search a lot in the future, their browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, or Edge browsers are available to use.
The MatchEngine algorithms scan billions of images against scams and fraud. So, it’s a helpful tool to see if someone’s dating profile photo is real or fake by uploading the file and seeing who’s behind it. Finding duplicate pictures can tell you that the profile behind them is fake. Thus, you have one of the best options to verify images online.
The Pinterest Lens feature works on mobile devices only. Also, it’s not a secret that this platform is one of the largest databases of photos worldwide and not only in the US. Millions of people get inspiration from Pinterest, and others search for specific images by uploading them directly to the site through this feature.
Here is how the Pinterest search by photo works:
- Open the Pinterest app on your smartphone
- Make sure you’re already logged into your account
- Tap the search icon (the magnifier one)
- Tap the small camera icon
- Now, take a photo or choose one from your device
6. Bing reverse image search
With Bing, you can look someone up by picture. It’s slightly different from the Google search engine. However, Bing can show images that Google doesn’t know about and vice versa. That’s because both companies have their own algorithms, and websites may show different files to these search engine crawlers.
In all cases, it’s worth it to search for someone by image with Bing. To do that, follow these steps:
- Open the Bing images on your phone or laptop.
- Just like Google, Bing shows that small camera icon; click on it.
- Now, you’ll get three choices: drag file or “browse” image, “paste image or URL” and “Take photo”. Choose one and upload the file from your device.
- If Bing finds that image, you’ll see the pages behind it. Otherwise, there will be related searches which list similar images and not that exact one.
What’s a reverse image search?
The technology behind the famous reverse image search is not new. Google has a great tool integrated into its main search engine to find people or items. Other search engines also started offering the same features as that’s what millions of people are looking for in today’s world of social media and fake profiles on Instagram, TikTok, and even dating sites.
So, the need for a method that scans a picture and searches for details behind it on the Internet encourages developers from different places to find a way to collect as much data as possible about a simple picture showing a headshot or many people on it.
Nowadays, using reverse photo search is crucial in many situations. For example, you can use these sites to find someone if you only have a picture of them. Or, you may come across unknown individuals on Facebook, Snapchat, or other social apps, and you need to identify them.
Thanks to these algorithms, you can find out who someone is by their picture in a matter of minutes or so.
Face recognition limitations for finding people
Even with all the technologies involved in building a trusted face recognition for search engines or civil applications, there are lot of false detection problems and so many issues. Studies about this confirm that we’re not as advanced in this field as what most people expect.
When a search engine extracts the data from someone’s picture, it uses that headshot section to compare that with billions of photos. But what if you take into consideration all the resources like servers, data centers, and electricity to do all that deep web scan?
In other words, reverse image search uses face recognition to tell you who the person in that picture is, and find them through the Internet. Hence, it’s not always accurate, and we must be aware of all the challenges in reverse search technology. You may find similar photo sand, not that exact file you upload to Google or other sites.
So, always verify what you find online and double-check what you read, like details about people, when using search engines or social media networks.