Consumer interest in artificial intelligence (AI) photo applications has dropped as fast as it rose, according to the latest data from app intelligence firm Apptopia. Following a period of undeniable excitement around the apps, demand has fallen as the trend peters out.
Photo apps like Lensa AI, Voi, Remini, Pixelup, Fotor, Wonder, FacePlay, Aiby, FaceApp, Gradient, Dawn AI, Facetune, Prequel, Voilà AI Artist, New Profile Pic Avatar Maker, and Meitu were trending last December, hitting 4.3 million downloads per day and generating roughly $1.8 million daily according to TechCrunch.
The apps saw their lowest revenue on November 11, at $0.37 million while they also experienced their lowest number of downloads on November 19: 0.84 million. After peaking in mid-December, these metrics have fallen sharply.
At the beginning of this week, the same apps drew only 952,000 combined downloads and around $507,000 in-app purchases as the numbers keep dwindling. Could this mean the trend is coming to an ignominious end?
What can AI photo apps do?
You have probably heard or even used a photo editing application before, with some of the common ones including Picsart, Canva, and FaceApp, the latter of which was once popular with its aging feature. AI photo apps are similar, and some photo editing applications have adopted AI to help generate better images.
AI photo apps use AI algorithms to enhance and manipulate photos. Apps offer a variety of features such as filters, image correction, object removal, and avatar creation.
Although it has been around since 2018, Lensa AI went viral late last year after rolling out a new avatar feature which saw it jump to pole position on the iOS App Store’s competitive “Photo & Video” charts, ahead of bigger apps like YouTube and Instagram.
According to TechCrunch, users were fascinated with the app’s clever new “magic avatars” feature which leveraged the open source Stable Diffusion model to process selfie photos and generate avatars akin to those created by a digital artist.
Trend turns to AI-powered chatbots
Traditionally, trends come to an end after consumers have seen what all the fuss was about and moved onto the next hyped experience. When consumers are intrigued by a trend on TikTok or Instagram, for example, they are prompted to try it before they soon realize there is nothing more to it.
As the app stores were flooded with these applications, some consumers didn’t see the need to pay subscriptions, after using them once to generate avatars. Other mainstream apps like WhatsApp also now allow users to create avatars, which takes away the need for a third-part application to do the same thing.
After carrying out a test with Lensa AI, TechCrunch reported that it was easy to trick the application into generating NSFW images, which was a major concern among consumers. Moreover, artists were upset about their work being opted into the training data without their concern. As a result, many AI profile pictures had similarities to artists’ own work, yet the creators were not compensated.
Other exciting AI-led technologies have also emerged on the market. For example, in November last year, OpenAI launched its chatbot AI ChatGPT, which quickly rose to fame and racked up 100 million users.
This might have shifted attention from AI photo apps to a more sophisticated AI with greater real-life application than generating personalized avatars. Tech giants are scrambling to incorporate ChatGPT’s innovation into their products and services as a result of its success.