In China, an app development company called Meitu is working on face beautifying apps for self-portraits. The act of taking pictures of oneself has spawned an industry with lots of products. MeituPic is the one-touch version of the beauty app, and Meipai is a video platform with filters. The self-portrait trend also inspired a line of smartphones designed for taking these types of pictures. They feature two 21 MP cameras.
Meitu uses facial recognition and 3D modeling to create apps that change the width of the eyes, tighten the skin, and narrow the chin. The company is known by fans as ‘zipai shenqi’ or ‘godly tools for selfies.’ These apps were downloaded 1 billion times. Meitu is valued in the billions, and the company has hundreds of millions of users.
Meitu was originally a desktop photo processor for cropping images. Users would primarily use the tool to edit faces in pictures. Meitu eventually added a one or two step beautifying option that quickly became popular. There are examples of how the photos look in the app stores. Most look realistic.
The majority of the users are women. Some spend up to two hours a day taking pictures of themselves, and some go out to take pictures. After posting photos online, people in the Meitu network gather together offline. The beautified pictures doesn’t seem to bother anyone in China. In fact, it appears to be a form of artistic expression, regardless of how the people actually look in person.
Meitu has offics in Santa Monica and Palo Alto, California. They also have representatives in London, Mexico City, Tokyo, New Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Taiwan, and Sao Paulo.
Source: The Washington Post