Google's art selfies are the talk of Twitter

Gwen Vasquez
January 17, 2018

Google's tool for finding your art historical doppelgänger is certainly the most ambitious app of its kind, it is not unprecedented.

Google's Arts & Culture launched on iOS and Android in July 2016. You can use a VPN to get Google to think you're in the US if you really want to try.

"Take a selfie and discover if your portrait is in a museum", the app's description says of its "Is your portrait in a museum?" project.

A Google app that matches people's selfies to famous works of art and encourages users to share the side by sides on social media lept to the top spot on the iTunes App Store charts this weekend, ahead of YouTube, Instagram and Facebook's Messenger, but it has also drawn concerns from some that the privacy of the users may be at risk.

Have you given Google's viral app a try? However, do not open the app immediately after downloading. Google says it will delete the image after the match is complete.

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Users then need to scroll down to a card in the app, saying "Is your portrait in a museum?" and then click "I Accept". In mid-January, the feature caught on, and the selfie matches went viral - so viral, in fact, that the Arts & Culture app became the most-downloaded app on the web. "Google is not using these selfies for anything other than art matches", Patrick Lenihan, a company spokesman, said.

After that brief warning, you're able to get started.

You can tell the app is analyzing your face because of the various colored lines animating all over the screen, and because it's gone black and white. While some users have found uncanny matches, others have had a more humbling experience (like actress Kirsten Bell, who was matched with German composer August Manns). Perhaps I'd be compared to a self-portrait by Van Gogh!

Celebrities are getting in on the fun as well.

Though the viral new feature is restricted to the USA, it can be accessed through VPNs in other regions as well.

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