Google's art app uses selfies to find your famous painting look-alike

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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.

As it turns out, all those photos are from a Google app that's over a year old: It's called the Google Arts & Culture app, and it's free on Google Play and the Apple App Store. However, do not open the app immediately after downloading.

It's spawned think pieces and revealed Renoir or Degas dopplegangers for a slew of your friends, so you've also probably downloaded the app yourself, only to scroll in a desperate search for the feature.

While this tool came out in December, the app now sits in the number 1 rank of the Google Play and iOS App Store charts after the selfie-matching feature gained popularity on social media.

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If you live somewhere that doesn't have access to the feature just yet, a good way to stay aware of when it's coming your way is by following the Google Arts & Culture account on Twitter.

The latest online fascination comes courtesy of Google Arts and Culture, a smartphone app that lets users find out which painting they most resemble, from a selection of museum collections. After installing the VPN app, "Switch Location" should be enabled to select the US from the list. Tap "get started", and you'll be guided through the process. "Google is not using these selfies for anything other than art matches", spokesman Patrick Lenihan said.

The Google Arts & Culture app's description says this feature is new, experimental and relies on computer vision technology to compare the selfie with actual historical works. There's no word on when (or if) the application will roll out to art historians in those states, or the rest of the world. I recommend the art camera feature, which allows you to explore high-definition artworks. Google says it will delete the image after the match is complete.

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