With TinEye, you add a simple extension to your browser. It's a way to quickly search any image on your screen, and a bookmark to take you to the developer's site. Here, you can upload or copy and paste the URL of the image you're interested in. Use it to snoop for celebrity mugshots, and discover when they were first uploaded. Or make sure that the person on your dating app is a real person, and not just a fake user. Web developers can use it to discover the image with the quality they need, or to make sure that no-one publishes your image without your consent.
- Install the extension, mouse over the image you want to reverse search, and right-click. Choose the 'Search image on TinEye' option.
- Click the button on your extension bar, en visit the developer's website. Now you can drag and drop local files to the tab, to start your search.
- Privacy guaranteed, as TinEye doesn't save user search data.
- Quick search with publishing history of the image.
You can find more information on their product page.
It's definitely useful to be able to search your images. In fact, as TinEye works to make the visual world more manageable, it also publishes a host of other, mostly paid services. You can buy MatchEngine, to make sure the images in your own collection are current. Commercial organisations can set alerts, so they are notified the moment their images pop up somewhere else. The company from Canada even offers engines to build your own apps, like wine-apps, MobileEngine, and a MulticolorEngine. And there's still a free version available.
Many of the benefits of TinEye seem obvious. They are in the business to make our images searchable, which can be helpful and informative. However, it can also be disturbing, as the reverse image search engine doesn't help you with the removal of unwanted copies of your images. They might help you with more information about the sites that might own you pages, but they offer no further assistance or help.
Google Images is the major player to compete with TinEye. They even offer similar images, which TinEye just doesn't really do. Still, it's great to see another company competing with the search giant we can't live without.
We like TinEye a lot, even though Google offers much the same functionality. You can right-click any image and search with Google, as with TinEye, but still, the results TinEye present are categorized historically. We prefer that. Why not? Try it out!