If you had told us last week that Google would find a way to get people interested in fine art en masse, we would’ve laughed in your face. Fast-forward to today, and people are obsessed with a new update to the Google Arts & Culture app. This free app from Google offers a number of nifty features such as virtual museum tours and visual searches for famous works of art. But there’s one feature in particular that has people excited right now, and started a viral social media trend that has picked up some serious steam over the past few days.
Of all the mobile Google apps out there, “Arts & Culture” had undoubtedly been among the software giant’s lesser-known apps. It offers a suite of terrific features for those interested in art, but it’s certainly not among Google’s most widely used apps. That is changing quite quickly, however, because people have discovered a new feature that they’re having a blast with right now on social media.
The fun new feature lets users take a selfie, while Google’s complex visual search technology then analyzes. The app then searches its database to find a famous portrait hanging in a museum that most closely resembles the selfie. Some fine art look-alikes are more accurate than others, of course, and the app displays a percentage that indicates just how alike the selfie and painting are.
People have been having a ton of fun with the new feature on Facebook and Twitter. Here are a few examples, starting with one from well-known actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani: