June 30, 2022

How To Do a Reverse Image Search of Instagram Pictures

Instagram app open on smartphone
Photo by Claudio Schwarz

A reverse image search is a practical tool for visual artists, from photographers to designers, from everyday people to business owners, in order to protect their pictures and their copyright — especially on Instagram, the powerhouse of digital images.

In this article, we give tips on how to do a reverse image search of Instagram pictures and answer the most common questions about the topic.

When do you need to perform a reverse image search?

If you’re thinking about doing a reverse image search, you’re most likely playing for safety and image protection — as you should. Online image theft is a constant risk for many, especially photographers and other visual artists. In fact, 64% of photographers said that their work had been used without their permission. A reverse image search can be one of many ways to protect your images online and can be useful for you if:

  • you suspect that your image has been stolen,
  • you want to do the usual check to see if your photos have been used without your permission.

Next, let’s see how to do a reverse image search of Instagram pictures.

How to do a reverse image search of Instagram pictures?

The two easiest and free methods of doing a reverse image search of Instagram pictures are a Google Image Search and using Pixsy. Both methods can be used to check if your Instagram pictures are used somewhere without your permission and if your images ended up on someone’s Instagram profile unauthorized.

1. Google Image Search

Using Google Image Search is the go-to method of performing a reverse image search.

Google image search box
Source: Google Images
  1. Open Google Image Search.
  2. Click on the camera icon.
  3. Search by the picture’s URL or paste the image to see where else the image can be found online.
  4. Analyze Google’s findings and look at the pictures from the instagram.com domain to find any unauthorized use of your image on the social platform.

Are Instagram posts and photos searchable by Google?A portion of Instagram content is not actually indexed by Google, upon Instagram’s request. However, there are exceptions — images from accounts that are:

  • A public account
  • A professional account
  • An account with a high number of followers

Consequently, if someone’s posts are set to private and they have not approved that you follow them, you won’t be able to find your supposedly stolen image on their profile with a reverse image search.

2. Pixsy

Pixsy is a great tool for reverse image search, with its award-winning technology and AI. It offers:

In essence, with Pixsy, you get reverse image search and image protection, as well. You can have 500 images monitored for free in a month and unlimited case submission.

pixsy webapp screenshot

How to use Pixsy’s reverse image tool

  1. Register here.
  2. Connect your websites and social media accounts to Pixsy where you house your images or upload them manually.
  3. Pixsy will show you the matches that are possible to be found online.
  4. The extra that Pixsy provides compared to other reverse image search tools: You can decide what to do next, ignore it, initiate a takedown, or submit a legal case.
pixsy match viewer

Can you do a reverse image search in the Instagram app?

Instagram doesn’t allow image search and consequently, reverse image search either. Therefore, you cannot find an allegedly stolen image in the Instagram app or its web version.

What can you do if an Instagram account uses your image?

There are a couple of routes you can take if you found that someone has posted your image on their Instagram profile without your permission:

  1. Contact them via Instagram DM or another channel if they have other public contact information, and ask them to take down the image or to resolve the matter in any way that suits you.
  2. Report the copyright infringement to Instagram.
  3. Ask for Pixsy’s legal help. Send automatic and legally binding takedown notices with a one-click solution, or submit a case and have Pixsy’s copyright experts and legal partners take care of everything (you only pay a fee if they win your case).

As a long-term solution, make sure you proactively protect your images online, and don’t forget to stay vigilant: people will keep posting on social media and people will keep misusing images, infringing your copyright.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one help, a service that will take care of reverse image search for you for free and help with any copyright infringement issues that might come up along the way, register for Pixsy.

Start monitoring your images today

Free to sign up

24/7 image monitoring online

Powerful dashboard & tools

Send takedown notices worldwide

Get compensated for stolen images