Search engines are powerful tools that we use pretty much every day. One of the features they offer is the “reverse video search,” which researches the web by video instead of a word or phrase.
Read on as we take a look at the best reverse video search tools and provide you with step-by-step guides on how to use them effectively.
The Best Reverse Video Search Tools
Before we go into the tools and guides on how to do a reverse video search, it’s important to note that these tools don’t use the actual video to scrape the web for matches. They use an image. Therefore, you need a screenshot of the video you want to look up. It’s preferred you use a significant frame of the video or, better yet, the thumbnail of the video.
Here’s how you can take a screenshot on various devices:
- Windows – press Ctrl + Shift + S
- Mac – press Shift + Cmd + 4
- iPhone – press the Power + Volume Up buttons
- Android – press the Power + Volume Down buttons
Using Google for a reverse video search
To do a reverse video search on Google, you need to:
- Open www.google.com and click on the Google Lens icon in the search bar. Mobile users can find the same icon in the Chrome app on their iPhone or Android phones.
- Upload the screenshot of the video you want to look up.
- You can drag and drop the image, upload it manually from your computer, or paste the link to the image.
- Google will then display visual matches on the right side of your image.
- The ‘Find image source’ button above the image will take you to Google’s search results page, where you can find pages that include a similar image.
Using Berify for a reverse video search
Berify is a dedicated reverse image and video service specializing in stolen content. Unlike Google, Berify uses multiple search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, and Baidu when scraping the web for a match.
It’s worth noting that Berify requires you to register an account to use the service. The free version has a five-image limit that you can look up. For more images, you need a monthly subscription plan which you can check out here.
To do a reverse video search with Berify you need to:
- Upload a video screenshot to Berify. You can drag and drop or manually upload it from your computer.
- Berify will then process the image and return any matching results it finds.
- If there are no matches, Berify will send you an email notification whenever a match is found.
Using Shutterstock for a reverse video search
Shutterstock offers a massive repository of over a billion images, videos, and music from over a million contributors.
To conduct a reverse video search on Shutterstock, you need to:
- Click on the ‘All Images’ button.
- A drop-down menu will pop up. Select ‘Video.’ This will let Shutterstock know you are looking for video results.
- Upload the screenshot of the video. You can drag and drop or manually upload it from your computer.
Once the screenshot is uploaded, Shutterstock will display any matching results it finds. Similar videos are displayed if there is no identical match.
Using TinEye for a reverse video search
TinEye was the first-ever search engine to use image recognition. It uses image identification technology and pattern recognition to provide you with matching image results.
You can use TinEye to do a reverse video search by:
- Upload the screenshot of the video to TinEye. You can do this by manually uploading or pasting the link to the image.
- TinEye will then display any matching results it finds.
- Click on the ‘Filter by website/collection’ button.
- A drop-down menu will pop up with all of the sites the image was found on. You can select ‘www.youtube.com’ or any related sites the video might be on to narrow down your search.
Related: How to Reverse a Video on iPhone: Complete Guide (2023)
Reasons to Use a Reverse Video Search Tool
There are a handful of reasons why you’d want to do a reverse video search these days. You may be interested to see more similar content. You may want to see if your work has been re-uploaded or plagiarized.
With today’s nature of the internet and the ability to go viral for just about anything, it’s good to know how to reverse search videos to find out the full context and avoid getting caught up in fake news.
Some of the main reasons you would want to use a reverse video search tool are:
- Find the source of the video
- Find the full version of a clip
- See what people are writing about the video
- Find plagiarized versions
- Find related videos
Find the source of the video
Sometimes you’ll find yourself coming across reposted content and feel like you’d like to see more of it. Doing a reverse video search can help you find its source. This will lead you to the original owner of the video, where you can enjoy their other content.
Find the full version of a clip
Social media platforms are overall helpful tools for communicating and staying in touch. However, they’re also a large place for misinformation. If you’ve been using them, you’ve surely come across videos clipped out of context.
A recent famous example is Joe Rogan reacting to a celebrity boxing match between two YouTubers. The video titled ‘Father beats up son in a Boxing match’ duped Joe into thinking the opponents were father and son.
The video is purposefully titled in a clickbait manner to generate more clicks. With a simple reverse video search, you can easily find the full context of it.
See what people are writing about the video
You may be interested in the coverage of a video. By performing a reverse video search on a specific video, you can find magazines, news articles, and Reddit threads where the video in question is discussed. This way, you can see what other people say about the video.
Find plagiarized versions
A reverse video search can help you find plagiarized versions of a video. Today’s search engines are equipped to detect vector graphics and other computer-generated animations. This way, you can look up if your video designs have been plagiarized by someone else.
Find related videos
Another reason you want to do a reverse video search is to find related videos. Search engines prioritize results by relevance. The top results will be the exact video/source of the video when doing a reverse video search.
The following results are usually related contents based on the theme and topic of the video. This way, you can find other related videos.
Performing reverse video lookups is easy once you have the right frame and a reverse lookup engine. If you’re not getting any matches, you can always tweak some of the settings in your search, whether it’s a different screencap or parameters.