The AI ​​photo app trend has already fizzled out, new data shows • AapkaDost

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Is the AI ​​photo app trend over yet? In recent months, AI-powered photo apps have gone viral on the App Store as consumers explore AI-powered experiences like Lensa AI’s “magic avatars” feature and other apps that promise to turn text into images using AI technology. But new data from app intelligence company Apptopia indicates that consumer interest in AI photo apps has fallen as fast as it has risen.

The company analyzed the top AI photo apps worldwide and tracked both their download growth and in-app consumer spending.

In the analysis shared with AapkaDost, Apptopia examined leading AI photo app Lensa AI and others including Voi, Remini, Pixelup, Fotor, Wonder, FacePlay, Aiby, FaceApp, Gradient, Dawn AI, Facetune, Prequel, Voila AI Artist, New Profile Pic Avatar Maker and Meitu. (Voi was a later arrival and launched on Dec. 7.)

Apptopia found that this group of AI apps first took off around Thanksgiving and then peaked around mid-December in terms of both downloads and in-app purchases. At the height of their popularity, the apps accounted for 4.3 million daily downloads and ~$1.8 million per day in consumer spending through in-app purchases.

Those numbers have dropped significantly since then. Yesterday (not shown in the chart below), the same group of apps only saw about 952,000 combined downloads and $434,000 in consumer spending, and the numbers continue to fall.

This latest hype cycle started with the breakthrough success of Lensa AI. Although the app has been around since 2018, Lensa AI went viral in late November to early December 2022 thanks to the new avatar feature that propelled the app to the No. 1 spot on the competitive “Photo & Video” charts of the iOS AppStore. larger apps like YouTube and Instagram. Users were captivated by the app’s clever new “magical avatars” feature that used the open-source Stable Diffusion model to process selfie photos to generate avatars that looked like they were created by a digital artist.

But soon there were a number of complaints about how this technology had been used. People felt it was too easy to trick the app into creating NSFW images, and artists were angry that their work had been submitted to the training data without their consent. The latter resulted in many of the AI ​​profile photos having similarities to artists’ own work – but they weren’t the ones benefiting.

Consumers seemed to respond to the ethical concerns raised. As AapkaDost reported at the time, some people started leaving comments on AI photos and profile pictures posted on social media to tell people not to use an app that steals from artists. This backlash has likely stifled some of the demand for the AI ​​arts. After all, it’s no fun using an AI photo for your profile if you’re essentially being accused of theft in doing so.

In addition, some people only wanted to see the results of their own AI profile pictures after watching TikTok videos about the feature. After going through the creation process once and receiving a collection of photos, there wasn’t necessarily any further interest in using the feature again.

Some users also had complaints about the subscription required for what they believe should be a one-off task.

In addition, the app stores themselves were flooded with AI photo apps, pushing countless other AI apps to the App Store’s top lists, some of which worked better than others. At one point in mid-December, the top three spots in the US App Store were held by AI photo apps and many others were new to the Top 100. Sensor Tower estimates at the time indicated that 8 of the top 100 apps by downloads were AI art apps. But the apps weren’t really different from each other, as they were all some variation of AI avatars – like the one Lensa helped popularize AI – or offered a different kind of AI image generator, like apps that generated images from text prompts.

The market was immediately oversaturated. At the same time, interest in another form of AI technology grew: ChatGPT. The AI ​​chatbot was released on November 30, 2022 and quickly gained consumer attention. In January, the App Store was again flooded with AI apps. But this time it was with dubious ChatGPT apps, not Lensa AI copycats. Apple quickly removed one of the more prominent fake ChatGPT apps, but others remained.

More recently, we’ve seen consumer interest in ChatGPT-like experiences drive Microsoft’s Bing to the top of the App Store after it announced integrations with OpenAI’s newer chatbot technology, which promises to be an improvement over ChatGPT. It’s not clear whether AI chatbots will actually dismantle traditional search in the short or long term despite the imminent threat, as there are still concerns about bots’ ability to produce misinformation. But for now, these apps are the latest to intrigue consumers.

The burst of consumer interest in photo AI apps, ChatGPT and now Bing, indicates that people are paying attention to AI technology and want to test the new ideas firsthand. There may eventually be a winner or winners here, but it’s too early to tell.

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