With all this technology, we are used to having all the information on hand.
That is why, a lot of the times we are digitally “stalking” people from an array of different reasons.
And sometimes, we don’t have all the information necessary to find the people we are looking for on Facebook or we don’t know what a particular picture represents (such as a picture of a place)
Maybe you just want to put a face behind the person who will be interviewing you tomorrow, or maybe you are looking for your old friend that apparently has a new Facebook profile.
Perhaps you were reading this cool blog and you saw an interesting image and you want to find out where it comes from..
The reason is not so important, what’s important is if you have an image of the person or a thing you’re trying to find, then it can be done.
If you want to find out how to do a reverse image search, keep reading as I explain the process step by step.
We have start this tutorial by covering the largest search engine of all…
Reverse image search using Google
You can also find the image you are looking for using Google’s image search engine.
Related: how does Google make money?
This is considered to be one of the easiest ways to find an image that you’re interested in, and chances are you have been in contact with this process before.
For those of you who really haven’t, what you want to do is go on the image that you want to know more data about and right click it.
Click the “Search Google for image” option and another window will open giving you information on the image you selected.
As you can see, Google told us plenty of information about the searched image.
It found the exact location of the image, what else people search for related to this, and visually similar images.
If you scroll further down, you can see the websites that used this particular image in their posts.
Sometimes data like this can be of extreme importance when it comes to a certain image, depending on the reason.
Another way you can do this is the following:
- Go to https://images.google.com/
- Click the camera icon
- Paste the URL of the image in the box
- If you have the image in your computer, then go to the “Upload an image” section and upload it from your device
- As soon as the image is uploaded, Google will show you the results
If you want to get more customized results, you can go a step further and change the Search keyword to something else.
For example, if you want to get the image results only from Facebook.com and not from other sites on the internet, you should change the keyword to site:facebook.com, and Google will work its magic.
Facebook Image search and how does it work
Facebook Image Search is simply a method by which images posted by Facebook users can be found through a specific image ID.
As we are all aware, Facebook is a huge platform in this day and age with more than two billion Facebook users. (Learn how they make money)
Every single image that is posted by those 2 billion users and that is an estimate of 200 million photos every single day, has a unique image ID.
If you want to find out more about some particular picture, its location, or other data you first need to find out the unique image ID of that image.
1. See if the image is from Facebook
In order to perform a reverse image search on Facebook, you first need to find out if the image is posted on Facebook in the first place.
This can be done in the following way. Once you find the image that you want to dig deeper into, right click it and press “Open image in new tab.”
This is valid for Google Chrome. If you have other browsers the name of the option may vary, but in general it should mean the same.
Look into the top left corner to see if the image is actually coming from Facebook.
If it has the “FBcdn” there, the original image is posted on the Facebook platform.
2. Look for the ID number
Like every person, every image posted on Facebook has a unique ID number.
This number is unique for every single picture and it is very important in this reverse image search process.
To find the image ID number, look into the link and find the numbers in between the two underscores, or the second series of numbers.
In this case those numbers are 3168730543151388. This is the unique ID number of this particular Facebook image.
3. Search for the image
Once you discover the unique number of the image, paste or type the following link into your search box https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=.
Next, add the image ID after the = sign on the link above, so it looks like this: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=587639955405406
Once you have this, it’s time to find the image you’re looking for on Facebook.
Type the link into your browsers’ search box and voila!
Even though this is likely to work, if the person or a page on which the picture is has limited privacy setting it can prevent you from accessing it.
The image has to be public and the owner has to not have blocked your account in order for it to be visible.
If the settings of the profile are set to “Friends” or “Friends of Friends” you won’t be able to find it.
In case you can’t access the image this way, don’t worry since there are some other things that you can do.
Other ways to Image Search
Except the most well-known ways to reverse search an image, there are some other ways as well:
TinEye is a reverse image search website that works on a similar mechanism as Google.
It is very easy to use, and it will show you where your specific picture appears on the internet.
You can either upload an image or paste an URL link.
Once you upload your image or paste the URL, TinEye will let you know where exactly the image appears on the internet and how many images it searched for it.
A TinEye Chrome Extension is also available if you are in need of faster reverse image searches.
Other extensions that it has are for Firefox and Safari.
If you have it, the only thing you need to do is just right-click the image and search it through TinEye.
Per the claims of TinEye, they were the first website that uses image identification technology.
Many formats are supported like JPEG, PNG, GIF and the size is up to 20 MB.
Many people use it to look for illegal use of copyrighted images which makes it very valuable and useful.
If you find other blogs using your images without permission, you can message them to take them down or just give you credit with a link (and build an easy backlink!)
Considering the fact that Pinterest is an image based platform, it is not surprising to know that they have a huge database of images.
Moreover, Pinterest’s database is user-created since users upload pins, so this can be potentially a very good source if you are looking for something in particular.
The process is very easy, all you need to do is:
- Have an account and log into it
- Choose the image you’re interested
- Find the icon in the corner on the right bottom corner and click it
Pinterest will automatically show you related images to the one that you’ve chosen.
The special power of Pinterest is that it lets you zoom in a specific image and drag the zoom tool over a chosen part of the image and search only for that particular part!
Bing Image Match
I am aware that not many people use Bing, at least compared to Google. However, Bing does have their reverse photo search tool called Bing Image Match.
Here, you are also given the opportunity to either upload an image or copy the link and the engine will display matching search results.
The only downfall is that the results won’t be as good as if you’re using Google or TinEye.
Today you learned how to do a reverse image search on your favorite platfoms (Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Tineye and even Bing).
If you liked this article and you are interested in more Facebook related posts, check these:
- How does Facebook make money?
- Learn how to download Facebook videos to your computer
- How to cancel all pending friend requests on Facebook?
Leave a comment letting me know what other “How to” post you want me to write next!