Do you have a picture of someone, and you need to use it and find all of his social media profiles? Then, thanks to facial recognition and image search technologies, there are handy tools and options to use. In this guide, we’ll show you how to locate a person on many social networks. Then, check their account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or others like LinkedIn and more.
Reverse image search engines
Tip: The following search tools have dedicated image search at the time of publishing this guide. But when that changes, you can switch the search by name, email, or other contact details about the person you are looking for.
Advanced face recognition
For more details about people’s presence online, the best face recognition system that could find the social accounts on someone’s picture is SocialCatfish. It’s a great way to search with it. But the option may not be there sometimes. So, use the other search types the site offers if possible.
In addition to its great member area, it’s secure tool to search social media by image and it works faster than others. There will be a dedicated section on the reports that show members the networks where someone has accounts.
To search for people online by photos, visit the site, then choose the option “Face”. Next, upload the file and click on the big button “Search” like the following example.
As you can see above, there are other search options to find people on social media. So, try them if you know their names, emails, or even contact numbers. Those tools work better than what a reverse image search does.
Now, when we talk about the accuracy of search results, it’s an algorithm like Google itself. So, no online tool will work 100% of the time. Hence it’s good for finding information about people and locating their Facebook accounts, Instagram posts, etc.
Everything starts with uploading a headshot of the person. And if they have a social media presence, you could get their pages. That being said, you need to check if these accounts are active or abandoned. So, look for recent posts, Tweets, Pins, or other information on their timelines.
To get the best results, we recommend verifying the photo before you upload it for search. Indeed, if it contains different persons, you should remember that even if it’s in HD or Retina-quality, all the faces on it will be searched. And that means inaccurate names or profiles.
For that reason, limiting the search to one person is better. For that, you may use a photo editor tool if you have one or use the Mac preview and crop those photos. That way, you see only the guy you want to find. iPhone also has that feature to edit photos, so make use of it.
With Tineye, users have another way to access a sophisticated face recognition and reverse image system that’s been working for years. It was the first search engine on the web that uses photos instead of words. And what’s even more distinguishing is the tool’s ability to exclude the background of the image.
Thus, when ignoring the color or transparent background of your friend’s picture, the search works faster. That will help in getting accurate results.
Tineye has a smart system called MatchEngine, which is one of a kind. It scans a picture that the user uploads. Then it combines all the possibilities of using it on different websites. Unlike other sites that check for image copies only, this one rotates that picture and extracts the smallest details on human faces, which will allow the tool to compare that person’s photos with billions of others.
That’s helpful, especially for detecting if a dating profile is fake or not. But people could use it to find a person they lost on social media with one of his pictures only.
Use Google images
Google Images is a popular search engine that works differently than its main one. Instead of words or phrases, users have the option to upload a picture and search through it. Next, Google algorithms scan its databases of indexed details. After that, it shows you any relevant profile on any known social media site.
The main issue with Google is that it only indexes the details that a social network allows. In other words, if someone has a profile on Facebook, for example, and that account has been indexed, then there could also be the profile picture of that person behind. Consequently, you can search social media by photo with Google, but only for indexed data.
On the other hand, another person on the same website might have an active profile. But they blocked search engines from letting others find them there. This means Google crawlers won’t be able to add that page to the index because of the user’s privacy settings.
The same thing could be preventing the index of other social profiles like LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, or others. So, if you get no results using that given picture, look for other photos probably saved elsewhere on your computer or emails.
Compared to well-known social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are among the platforms with the highest chances of finding users through their pictures. That’s not a surprise as Pinterest is a photo-sharing network. And most of the Instagram content is photos.
Also, Snapchat has a search tool online. So, people add friends by typing usernames. And that means search engines like Google can help to find Snapchat users by photo if that was crawled and also indexed publicly. But, even if that’s not always possible, it’s worth a try.
Bing visual search
After Google, Bing started offering visual search for its users. Thus, everyone who needs to find a lost friend or missing family member on social media could upload one of their photos and search with it. If the photo is online and hosted on a blog or website, users have the option to paste its URL address. That’s helpful if downloading and then uploading the file is not preferred.
To start using the Bing reverse image search, visit their site first. Then, click the small icon (photo), so it says “Search using an image,” like the following:
Bing is not Google, and both search engines have different approaches to finding details from phone numbers, images, or usernames, including social information. That means there are chances that one website finds more or less data about people on social media than the other. Consequently, if a profile has been indexed by Bing but not yet by Google because of privacy settings, the searcher could find that account by photo.
Note about face recognition
Even if the trending technologies linked to face recognition and image search are not new, there are still ways for improvement. That’s because they’ve not yet achieved an advanced level that solves human problems and correctly tells by 100% who an image belongs to.
There are many law enforcement issues with that. And even the most innovative algorithms and biometric face recognition systems struggle to distinguish between two different individuals who share similar face shapes.
Finding someone on social media with just his picture may look like a challenging task for many. And that’s relatively true but not that complicated if they try different photos and sites. What works for others may not work for you. Also, keep in mind that the more information you collect about the person, the higher chances you may find them on social networks.
Meantime, Google or other search engines offer the option to search by photos. That said, you might need a high-resolution picture. That’s because you need to crop it and extract one individual’s face picture that’s clear enough to be scanned and read by algorithms.