Google's Selfie Art App is Surprise Hit

Google's Selfie Art App is Surprise Hit
A new feature in Google's Arts & Culture app which matches selfies to artworks has gone viral.

(CCM) — Google's high-brow Arts & Culture app has shot to the top of the iOS and Android download charts, thanks to a new feature which matches selfies to famous works of art.

The app itself was first released in 2016, but until recently it was relatively unknown and popular mainly with art aficionados and museum visitors.

But in the last few days the app has become a sensation thanks to its ability to analyze a selfie taken by the user, and then scan through a catalogue of famous portraits to present ones which are a close match. The app also provides a percentage figure for how closely the selfie matches the portrait.

30 Google employees who built the app where caught by surprise when it was downloaded more than twelve million times in a few days following the launch of the feature, according to a Wall Street Journal report. They had to work through the weekend to ensure that the app kept running smoothly, the report added.

But the app has also caused anger among some people, because the selfie matching feature is only available to users in the U.S. for data privacy reasons. The feature is also absent for users who are resident in Illinois and Texas because of state laws banning the collection of biometric data including a record of "face geometry" without the user's consent, the report said.

Image: © Google.