Now, why would the Google Arts & Culture app be at the top of the most download apps of the week — surpassing known giants like Messenger, Instagram, and Youtube?
The app offers pretty much what you would expect from its namesake: cool articles about artists, periods, colors, and art history, complete with an immense collection of artworks to explore.
But that’s not why it’s topping the charts:
The sole reason people are going crazy over it is the recently launched portrait feature which uses facial recognition to match your face to famous portraits.
It will show exactly who made the painting, its name, and a percentage of precision. It’s a fun and easy way to experiment with different selfies and get to know different works of art in the process. After all, you will automatically already like at least one piece of art a little bit because it looks like you!
The feature got a huge boom in popularity once a number of celebrities shared their selfies and respective matches on Twitter. Some of the most notable include Pete Wentz, Felicia Day, and Kumail Nanjiani.
Unfortunately, the curiosity that led people to the app has also created led to a bit of a backslash — it seems the selfie feature is not available for everyone outside of the US.
Many were drawn to the app after finding out about it and were dying to find their artistic matches but found the feature to be plain missing. Turns out it’s only confirmed for people living in the US, and due to different regulations involving facial recognition tech, it’s restricted in Europe for the moment.
This has made some people very angry and led them to post 1-star reviews of the app, simply because the selfie feature was missing for them.
The idea itself is ingenious -- it’s not a pointless addition, it’s a fantastic way to introduce the world to often unknown pieces of art that most people have never heard of before, to bring attention to different artists and styles… It’s a shame it’s not available worldwide just yet, but hopefully, soon everyone can have fun with it.
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