In the past few days the name FaceApp has gone viral at a lightening speed with lot of people uploading images on social media. FaceApp is the latest photo editor app which makes use of AI to show the users how they might look when they grow old.
But this has happened before right?
Prisma, another photo editing app for Android and iOS had gone viral when it was released. Moreover, FaceApp was released 2 years back but failed to gain the popularity that it has now. It is believed that the app has successfully emerged again due to the “AgeChallenge” hashtag that is garnering attention on social media platforms.
So, what is this #AgeChallenge?
The hashtag challenges you to upload a picture of yourself with the app’s filter applied. Major celebrities are trying out the faceapp features giving it the much needed boost. In the current times, applications are also released with calculated PR campaigns where the influencers are paid to promote the apps or services. It is quite possible that the FaceApp photo editor app owners are doing that.
As compared to last time, the filter options this time in the application seem to be more in-depth. It can change your face with the following filters:
Smile - This filter will add a smile to your face in the picture
Young - Your face will appear younger
Old - Your face will appear older
Female - The filter will give your face feminine features
Male - Your face will get masculine features
Apart from these filters, you can also smoothen some of the wrinkles from your face or add a beard, make up and change your hairstyle. Yes, this advanced photo editing app has retained its gender swapping feature. But a major editing feature which allowed you to change your ethnicity has been removed.
How to use FaceApp?
The mobile app is available for download on both Android and iOS platforms. Simply launch the app once it is installed and follow the instructions on screen. You can either choose an existing photo from your library or click a new picture to make this photo editing tool work.
Once you are done applying the filter, there is an option to download it on your phone or directly upload it to social networking sites to take part in the #AgeChallenge. A paid version of the app is also available which offers premium features to its users.
How does FaceApp work and what is all the controversy around it?
The app claims that it is using “advanced neutral portrait editing technology” to “improve your selfie”. Simply explained, an AI analyses your photo and applies filters to it in a manner that seems humanly possible in the best way.
However, since it came to spotlight, there are all sorts of rumours going around that all the pictures used in the app are transferred to Russia, where the makers of this application are located and that the data can be misused.
But we can safely say that it is not the fault of this particular application. The modern web works on data collection and FaceApp is just a part of it. The application was examined by Apple’s app store and even labelled as “Editors Choice” in the Google play store.
The team at FaceApp denied the allegation stating that most of the processing is performed in the cloud and only the picture selected by the user is uploaded and not others. Furthermore, they also clarified that although the photos are stored in cloud, the only reason for that is performance and traffic. The team wanted to ensure that a user does not upload the same pictures repeatedly and most images are deleted from the server within 48 hours of the upload date.
Let’s Wrap Up!
Although we know what all these apps offer, it can be rightly said that the privacy concerns are real. Most of the people out there have no idea what is happening with their personal data and they don’t care either. People will only care if someone points out something really bad happening but that too not for a long time.
People are slowly losing trust on tech companies and you don’t have to be too smart to understand that. We have seen that companies like Google and Facebook are constantly under surveillance over how they handle the data.
FaceApp is definitely not sending your photos to Russia but the very fact that people think of it as a possibility is a clear indication of how trust has taken a hit in the case of tech companies. Inspite of all the rumours, demand for such apps is increasing in the market and increasing number of mobile app development companies can create custom applications for you.