If you have ever had to search for a stock image, you know what a chore it can be. The worst part is just trying to figure out the right way to phrase your search to produce results that are at least somewhere in the ballpark of what you are looking for, which sometimes is much harder than it should be.
Stock agency Shutterstock made the process so much easier back in March with its Reverse Image Search technology. This tech allows you to simply upload an image with similar characteristics to what you are looking for, and the website will then generate similar images, no more wacky keyword combinations required.
The caveat was that this incredibly helpful technology could only be taken advantage of through the firm’s desktop website, but that all changed today with the official announcement of reverse image search being added to Shutterstock’s iOS app.
Now you can simply snap a picture of something, add it to the search bar in the Shutterstock app, and watch the results roll in. When used correctly this has the potential to save you a ton of time, but it’s not magic. Images used for the search should always be well lit, have a clear subject, and be of as high a resolution as possible — even changing the angle of the image you use for your search can sometimes lead to better results.
Shutterstock’s algorithm will improve over time too. According to the announcement, the software is always analyzing what people are uploading and searching for, and this allows for further fine-tuning and optimization of its performance. In other words, the more people use it, the better and more accurate it will get.
Android users will have to use the desktop site or text search via the mobile app for the time being, but don’t fret; Shutterstock expects to debut the Reverse Image Search functionality in the Android app later this summer.