Bieber-backed Photographs goes past selfies with hyperlinks and comedy

John Shahidi's New Photographs App

Life is tough sufficient for teenagers, so Photographs sidestepped bullies with a selfie sharing app that doesn’t permit commenting. Now the 6.6 million every day lively consumer social community needs to spice up youngsters’ spirits by refocusing round comedy. In the present day’s iOS and Android replace lets customers share any hyperlink, not simply self portraits, and the funniest ones will find yourself in a particular ‘Humorous’ tab.

Just like Fb’s current replace, customers will now have the ability to add emoji reactions to posts. (CEO John Shahidi says the timing is coincidental and the thought was conceived beforehand). Pictures with probably the most laughing emojis will get highlighted within the ‘Humorous’ part, making it simpler to come upon memes and humorous movies.

Launched in November 2013 to a lot derision, Photographs has stunned the world with its success. It now has about 10 million registered customers, with roughly ⅔ visiting month-to-month. Lots of them are teen women — Justin Bieber is an investor within the app and helped generate a buzz amongst his followers.


The replace additionally consists of the power to share hyperlinks inside the app — something from information articles to YouTube posts can now be built-in.

In contrast to different social media apps, Photographs doesn’t reveal follower counts, one thing that Shahidi says appeals to youthful customers. “We need to remove these pressures in terms of posting.”

Photographs is headquartered in San Francisco and has raised over $15 million in funding. Along with Bieber, different buyers embrace Floyd Mayweather, 500 Startups and Main League Baseball.

“Our mission as an organization is to convey positivity and pleasure” Shahidi tells TechCrunch, and the brand new comedy focus matches in with the Photographs philosophy. He explains that many teenagers are depressed and the fixed success theater of social media doesn’t all the time assist. Seeing how pleased everybody else seems within the manicured spotlight reel they share can individuals really feel lonely and misplaced once they’re hurting.

However with Photographs, the ‘Humorous’ tab might give customers a assured method to discover a smile. In that sense, the brand new replace might compete with Instagram and Twitter, the place tens of millions comply with comedy aggregating accounts like The Fats Jewish. Imgur’s one hundred fifty million lively customers search LOLs in its ‘Humorous’ channel. But Photographs might be a extra devoted place for humor…with some selfies thrown in.

The replace might additionally get extra individuals sharing, even when they don’t need to plaster their face on the Web. “The brand new type of sharing of posts will permit somebody who shouldn’t be a content material creator to share and categorical themselves. It’s onerous to take the right photograph and/or video” Shahidi insists.

Such a pointy pivot from photographs-solely to hyperlinks is a dangerous transfer. Photographs should hope the textual content-heavy replace doesn’t appear too drab or Twitterish. If it really works, it might grow to be extra addictive than ever. There’s solely so many duck faces and sundown selfies we will take. However we all the time need a chuckle.