Trendy Japanese photo app Cameran expands to become a social network



See the original story in Japanese.

Some of our readers may have heard a little about a mobile camera app from Japan called Cameran. It has a variety of filter effects, and is available for iOS and Android in 10 different languages. To date the app has recorded an impressive 3.6 million downloads worldwide since its launch back in October, 2012.

The app was created by Media Technology Lab, the research arm of Japanese human resource company Recruit. And today the group announced that it has added a photo sharing feature, effectively expanding the photo app into a brand new social network. The company feature user accounts of celebrity guest users such as Mika Ninagawa, the Japanese film director who supervised the creation of the app.

According to the app’s developer lead Tetsuya Oshiro, this change is based on feedback from users. Personally, I think that the strategy of building a user base and then adding social features is a smart choice in terms of marketing. There is no shortage of quality photo apps in Japan, making the market extremely competitive right now.

One source told us that the Cameran app is not yet in the money-making phase, but they’re still pushing to increase the user base.

Even in such a saturated space, there’s still some rooms for unqiue apps like this one to win over users. We’ve never seen photo apps using celebrities for marketing efforts, so it will be interesting to see how this tactic affects user acquisition.

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