Cannes Lions

Google Arts & Culture ‘art selfie’ feature

GOOGLE, Paris / GOOGLE / 2018

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Case Film






1/ Museums are eager to attract a younger population

2/ Their collections of classical portraits deserve more attention from this audience

3/ People may not take the time to admire classical portraits but they do love taking, sharing and engaging with selfies - the new self portraits.

=> Google Arts & Culture's mission is to help cultural partners preserve, distribute and promote arts & culture with this new feature we're inviting a digital friendly audience to (re)discover Art by aligning with their social behavior.

=> Art Selfie is not a social campaign, it's a feature social by design


1/ User Flow: to use this feature, open the “Home” tab of the Google Arts & Culture app and scroll down until you see a card that says “Search with your selfie”. It’s not in the menu, but in the middle of the screen, in the content feed.

Tap “GET STARTED” to launch the feature. You will be prompted to take a photo, and then you’ll see the top results that are matched to your photo. From the results page, you can a) tap “SHARE” to share your result using any apps you have installed that support image sharing and b) tap the (i) icon to view more details about the artwork.

2/ Technology : this new experimental feature uses computer vision technology to compare a selfie with thousands of historical artworks.

3/ Learn more about arts & culture : the metadata that is displayed within the main flow of the feature is the title, artist and partner name. Users can visit the artwork directly via the experience to see all the details and discover more exciting stories about it.

4/ Experiment : this feature is still at experimental stage


Thanks to the feature, 70m+ selfies were taken and shared up to February 2017. Millions of new users downloaded the Google Arts & Culture app. Jimmy Kimmel and Fallon, Trevor Noah and more featured the app in their TV shows, a wave of American celebrities posted their matches and we’ve seen hundreds of articles. The most heartwarming story so far is this: Google Arts App Matches St. Louis Woman With Portrait of Her Own Grandmother.

There’s great demand to improve and expand the selfie-matching feature to more locations and we’ll share more news as soon as we have it. Currently it’s available for users in parts of the U.S. and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India. We’ll continue to partner with more museums to bring diverse cultures from every part of the world online (any museum can join!), so you can explore their stories and find even more portraits.

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