Not all mobile apps have grand visions of boosting productivity or solving a vexing user problem. OK, many don’t. But Face Craze! has even less of this ambition than most, instead aiming to answer the question, “What would I look like if I were a woman, with a unibrow?”
The answer: ugly as hell, but definitely funny! Sort of like this guy looks every day.
The face morphing iOS application allows users to take their facial features and merge them with one of 36 standard male and female “models” to create entertaining photos.
Okay, I take that back, they’re utterly ridiculous. The skin tones and resolutions of various facial features rarely match one another. But that’s the point. The delightfully horrifying photos can quickly be shared with friends via the usual social media and messaging suspects, ensuring the fun isn’t held hostage.
Believe it or not — I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes — the app is rated a 4+ (out of 5) in the iOS App Store, with 16 reviews two weeks post-launch.
The reviewer “the incredible man” says, “Pretty funny for what it is…2012: the year facecraze (sic) usurped fatbooth as best gimmicky time-waster face manipulation app of all time.” Another, ”dirtydirtybirds” (I swear I’m not making these names up), says, “It’s hard to stop making new faces because they’re all hilariously ridiculous.” The only less than five star review was left by “Buffy_Dont_Care,” who gives one star and says, “These are all lies this app is wack.”
The studio behind the app, CJE APPS, is the product of brothers and fellow Arizona State University grads Cory and Barry Schneider. The brothers don’t take this too seriously. “Our goal is to get a little recognition and see people having fun,” says Barry. “If I saw a celebrity start using it, that would be enough for me.”
One thing seemingly working against the wide adoption of the app is its $0.99 price point. That said, this isn’t the first app to capitalize on user demand for lowbrow humor and time wasters, nor the first to charge for it.
There have been fart apps that raked in $10,000 per day, a screen cleaner which has dogs lick your touchscreen clean from the inside (ad-based), the above mentioned fatbooth, a banned do-nothing $1,000 app called I Am Rich, and even the horrifying baby shaking app which was quickly pulled by Apple after the company embarrassingly let it slip through its approval checkpoint.
When I asked Barry about the decision to charge users to download the app rather than take a more traditional route of serving ads after a free download, he seemed a bit like the thought hadn’t crossed his mind. “I guess we didn’t want ads to distract from the product?” he said. “Maybe we’ll look into it in the future.”
The company has been entirely bootstrapped to date and consists of only the brothers and a single developer, which they hired after thinking of their “million dollar idea.” The good news for Face Craze! fans out there, the Schneiders promise more fun apps to come out of CJE.
Better start saving your pennies.
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