A new photo app dedicated to the taking and sharing of selfies has launched after receiving financial backing from pop star Justin Bieber.
Aimed directly at the youth market, Shots of Me has been developed by RockLive, with CEO John Shahidi describing the app as more interesting than looking at “coffee or salad” on Instagram.
“People enjoy looking at humans. Not just yourself. People like looking at other people. It doesn’t ever really get old,” Shahidi told TechCrunch.
The app locks out the use of phones’ rear cameras, in order to encourage users to take only self-portraits, and doesn’t allow users to upload photos. Shots are shared via an internal social network with basic functionality to follow other users.
Bieber reportedly contributed the “majority” of the $1.1 million (£691,000) needed to fund the app, with Shahidi saying that the singer was “a bit annoyed by other platforms” and wanted a social network where people couldn’t comment directly on photos to leave insulting or hateful messages.
Instead of comments Shots of Me has a direct messaging system where users can send anyone who follows them a message. Shahidi hopes that this will make abusive messages impossible.
Although the 19-year-old Bieber may seem like an unlikely tech investor, he’s by no mean the first celebrity to get involved with Silicon Valley. Justin Timberlake was a significant investor in social network Myspace and Ashton Kutcher has been involved in a number of startups, including AirBnB and Summly.
At any rate, Bieber certainly knows how to appeal to the youth market, and if he can convince some of his 57 million Facebook fans and 47 million Twitter followers to get on board, then Shots of Me might become more than a vanity project.
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The American Red Cross has launched a family tracing service among other aid operations. If you are unable to reach a family member in the Philippines, you can contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a tracing case. Representatives added that it has deployed two people to assist with assessments in the Philippines. It asks those who want to support relief efforts to mail a check to their local American Red Cross chapter, with “Philippines Typhoons and Flood” in the memo line. Go to redcross.org for local chapter information or redcross.org.ph to donate directly to the Philippine Red Cross.
The Philippine Red Cross said it has mobilized teams on the ground to help with rescue and relief operations. Click the link to learn more.
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