Fun Chinese photo app boasts 70M users, all without any marketing



MomentCam is one of the more unique photo effects applications that I’ve seen in a long time. Using just a photo of your face, it creates amazing faux hand-drawn portraits of you in a range of fun situations.

The key to the process is the app’s facial recognition, which will usually place your eyes and mouth correctly before face-swapping your head onto many different designs. This process works best when you take the initial photo of your face from the front, because when you do so from the side, your ear or hair might get in the way of the processed composition.

Currently there are are themed designs available including a set corresponding to the animals of the Chinese zodiac, but there are more available for download if you choose.

The app also has a emoticon-creation function, turning your face into animated emoticons (like those below) that can be shared to various social networks or messaging apps (most based in China, since the company is based in Beijing).


I managed to get a brief comment from the company’s co-founder Steven Huang about the success of their app so far. Amazingly, he claims that their progress to date has come without any active promotions on their part:

Our app [has grown] purely on word of mouth. No marketing at all. Our users have reached 70 million around the world since it was launched in the China market in early July and opened to world market on October 22. Our user base is 45% Chinese and 55% overseas users.

The company has reportedly raised 20 million RMB in series A funding, so it will be interesting to see where they take their app from here.

If you’re looking for a fun new avatar to start the year off fresh, I encourage you to check out MomentCam over on the App Store or on Google Play 1.

  1. I am a little puzzled as to why there are so many similar looking apps also by the name of MomentCam on Google Play. As far as I can tell from previous China-based reports, this one is the original. Although I’ve asked Steven about the duplicates and I await his reply.  ↩