Flickr Adds “Similarity Search” To Help Find Similar Images

Yahoo’s Flickr is finally catching up with the likes of Google Photos and Facebook’s AI when it comes to searching for images.

While Flickr may not be your go-to to search for and utilize images for posting, it is a helpful tool for finding Creative Commons-licensed photos that fit your visual needs, and their new “Similarity Search” tool just made finding similar images a lot easier.

Flickr just rolled out a new update that allows users to search for images based on visual similarity.  With this update, users can find images from a search results and find more photos that share similar shape, composition, color, or overall content.

How it works

If you hover over a photo on a search result page, you will reveal a “…” button that exposes a menu that gives options to search for similar photos you’re currently viewing.

Users will be redirected to a page that will show content similar to their search query.

Why it’s useful to the user

Photo search is different from the traditional web or text search using keywords.  Web searches are primarily to receive information, whereas photo searches are used to discover.  The use of Flickr’s visual searches saves users the effort of typing different keywords and provides more accurate images based off their searches.

While the tool’s computer vision technology isn’t perfected just yet, users are given the opportunity to gain a new perspective on their searches by being shown images that may not be what they were searching for, but illustrate similarities.


*Please note to only re-purpose images that are free for commercial use and do not require attribution if you plan on using images from Flickr.


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