Selfie App Shots Grows to 1 Million Downloads

Selfie app gains popularity in a more speedy way than one can even imagine 5 months ago.

It may sound silly, but teens are gravitating to this 5-month-old iPhone app to share their cell phone self-portraits. Photo: Kendra/Flickr

It may sound silly, but teens are gravitating to this 5-month-old iPhone app to share their cell phone self-portraits. Photo: Kendra/Flickr

“What sounded like a gimmick just five months ago is fast becoming a guilty pleasure for hundreds of thousands of young girls around the world,” writes Cnet.

Shots, which launched a simply app for sharing selfies, revealed to reporters on Wednesday that its service surpassed a mark over 1 million users, 75 percent of whom are girls under the age of 24.

In general, about 75 percent of the Selfie app users demostrated their activity every single month, with average time spent in the app totaling 20.53 minutes per user, the company claims. Each account also uploads, on average, 2.4 photos per day.

The news of Shots growing popularity comes alongside with the release of a version of the service that introduces search, a reply feature for engaging in selfie-based conversation threads, and launching Portuguese and Spanish languages for its audience in Brazil and Mexico. Sixty percent of Shots members are in English-speaking countries.

The story of the app began when Shots CEO John Shahidi discovered his latest game completely fell apart. However, it was Justin Bieber, who played it and then posted online the score he’d just achieved. That was the time Shahidi realised all the power of social networks.

Thousands of users got to the stores to download the game their favourite star was playing in. “It just crashed our servers,” Shahidi recalled.

Later the singer himself called Shahidi to suggest him investing in the game. But there’s some trouble as the company’s CEO didn’t want to create any other games.

However, it seemed like the “Boyfriend” singer was such a fan of RockLive that he was interested in whatever company wanted to build.

“They had the power of Bieber’s social media reach, and they wanted to put it to good use. So with Bieber as an investor, they left RockLive behind and created Shots Mobile and its first app Shots, a social network that specializes in one kind of photo sharing experience: the selfie,” Mashable reads.

Shots, that was launched in November, allows users to post a selfie to their followers, and works in a similar way to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram.

One major and significant difference is that Shahidi intended to build something safe for teens— a social site where bullies don’t exist and posting a selfie doesn’t prompt criticism from friends or strangers.

Thus, he decided that the app should allow a user’s followers to comment only if they also share a selfie of themselves.

Only the front-facing camera works within the service, that means you can’t upload from the camera roll. That ensures people are taking photos in real-time, capturing their true identities, explained Shahidi. Anyone reported for bullying is instantly kicked off the app.

“[Online bullying is] nothing that’s going to make me want to hurt myself, but going back to someone who’s 20 years younger than me — 14 or 15 years old — they are hurting themselves,” says Shahidi.

“We’re bigger than just building something with Justin,” says Shahidi proudly. “This is something humanity really needs. We want to build something positive for teenagers.”

Share this article

We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language, all capital letters or appear to be spam, and we review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Coinspeaker Ltd.