The AI photo app trend has already fizzled, latest data shows


Is the AI photo app trend already over? Over the past several months, AI-powered photo apps have been going viral on the App Store as consumers explored AI powered–experiences like Lensa AI’s “magic avatars” feature and other apps promising to show text into images using AI tech. But latest data from app intelligence firm Apptopia indicates consumer interest in AI photo apps has fallen as quickly because it rose.

The firm analyzed top AI photo apps worldwide, tracking each their download growth and in-app consumer spending.

In its evaluation shared with TechCrunch, Apptopia examined the leading AI photo app Lensa AI and others, including Voi, Remini, Pixelup, Fotor, Wonder, FacePlay, Aiby, FaceApp, Gradient, Dawn AI, Facetune, Prequel, Voilà AI Artist, Latest Profile Pic Avatar Maker, and Meitu. (Voi was a later arrival, launching on December 7.)

Apptopia found that this group of AI apps first began to take off around Thanksgiving, then hit their peak when it comes to each downloads and in-app purchases around mid-December. At their height of recognition, the apps topped 4.3 million every day downloads and ~$1.8 million per day in consumer spending via in-app purchases.

Those numbers have significantly dropped since. On November 11, the apps saw their lowest revenue, at $0.37 million. And, per week afterward November 19, they saw the bottom variety of downloads, at 0.84 million.

As of yesterday (not shown on the chart below), the identical group of apps saw only around 952,000 combined downloads and around $507,000 in consumer spending, because the numbers proceed to fall.


This latest hype cycle began with Lensa AI’s breakout success. Though the app has been around since 2018, Lensa AI went viral in late November to early December 2022 due to its latest avatar feature, which saw it jump to the No. 1 spot on the iOS App Store’s competitive “Photo & Video” charts ahead of larger apps like YouTube and Instagram. Users were fascinated with the app’s clever latest “magic avatars” feature, which leveraged the open source Stable Diffusion model to process selfie photos to generate avatars that looked like they’d been made by a digital artist.

But there have been soon a variety of complaints about how this technology had been put to make use of. People found that it was too easy to trick the app into making NSFW images, and artists were upset that their work had been opted into the training data without their consent. The latter resulted in lots of the AI profile pics having similarities to artists’ own work — but they weren’t those making the most of it.

Consumers looked as if it would reply to the moral concerns being raised. As TechCrunch had reported on the time, some people began to go away comments on AI photos and profile pictures posted on social media to inform people not to make use of an app that steals from artists. This backlash likely quelled a number of the demand for the AI art. In spite of everything, it’s not much fun to make use of an AI pic on your profile should you’re essentially being accused of theft when doing so.

Plus, some people only desired to see the outcomes of their very own AI profile photos after seeing TikTok videos in regards to the feature. After running through the creation process one time and receiving a set of photos, there was not necessarily further interest in using the feature again.

Some users also had complaints in regards to the subscription required for what they thought ought to be a one-off task.

As well as, the app stores themselves had turn into overrun with AI photo apps, pushing quite a few other AI apps into the App Store’s Top Charts, a few of which worked higher than others. At one point in mid-December, the highest three spots on the U.S. App Store were held by AI photo apps and plenty of others were newly rating within the Top 100. Sensor Tower estimates on the time indicated that 8 out of the highest 100 apps by downloads were AI art apps. However the apps weren’t particularly differentiated from each other, as they were all some variation on AI avatars — like those Lensa AI helped popularize — or offered one other type of AI image generator, like people who generated images from text prompts.

The market was immediately overly saturated. At the identical time, there was growing interest in one other type of AI technology: ChatGPT. The AI chatbot was released on November 30, 2022, and shortly gained consumer attention. By January, the App Store was again flooded with AI apps. But this time around it was with dubious ChatGPT apps, not Lensa AI copycats. Apple quickly removed one among the more outstanding fake ChatGPT apps, but others remained.

More recently, we’ve seen consumer interest in ChatGPT-like experiences drive Microsoft’s Bing to close the highest of the App Store after it announced integrations with OpenAI’s newer chatbot technology, which guarantees to be an improvement over ChatGPT. It’s not clear if AI chatbots will actually unseat traditional search within the near- or long-term, despite the immediate threat, because there continues to be concerns around bots’ ability to supply misinformation. But for now, these apps are the newest to intrigue consumers.

The burst of consumer interest in photo AI apps, ChatGPT, and now, Bing, indicates individuals are listening to AI technology and do need to test out the brand new ideas firsthand. A winner or winners may eventually emerge here, but it surely’s too soon to inform.


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