Shutterstock Launches Reverse Image Search For Video

Posted on 10/3/2019 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Shutterstock’s ongoing efforts to make the creative life of its customers easier continues with the launch of reverse image search for video. This new feature makes it faster than ever to find exactly the right video clip in Shutterstock’s footage library.

This new feature makes the discovery process more intuitive and efficient. It’s rooted in Shutterstock’s history of machine learning experimentation and reverse image search innovation. And we powered it with our custom-built convolutional neural network that lets you execute a search by simply uploading an image instead of typing keywords.

Essentially, the “what” and the “how” share the same answer: machine learning. Our neural network studies our library of over 280 million images and more than 15 million video clips. It breaks them down at the pixel level into their principal features. It recognizes what’s inside each and every image — including shapes, colors, and the smallest of details. With every image broken into pixel data, our visually similar search tool offers unparalleled image matching and discovery.

When we rolled out reverse image search for still images in 2016, users loved it. They were excited to have a fast, easy alternative to traditional keyword searches that lets them upload an image to find a similar image. In fact, we’ve found that users of reverse image search are over three times more likely to find what they’re looking for than users of keyword searches. That’s why we’re adapting this powerful search technology to work with the unique aspects of video.

How Does Reverse Image Search for Video Work?

Our neural network analyzed every video clip in our library to identify the video preview image and capture the characteristics of the clip. The result: Footage users can upload a photo, frame, or screenshot that illustrates the clip they need. Then, our algorithm provides videos similar in look and feel to the uploaded image.

This is a wonderfully helpful tool for videographers and video editors, as it makes missing shots a thing of the past. Need footage resembling a certain location? Need a scene that features a certain light temperature, wall color, or object? Just show our neural network what you need and reverse search will do the rest.

Copyright © 2019 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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