A while back we featured the fun photo application Otaku Camera, developed by the folks over at Tokyo Otaku Mode. When last we checked in on this app, it had just surpassed a million downloads having been featured on Google Play, with the iPhone version also doing pretty well. For those not familiar with Otaku Camera, the app transforms your smartphone pictures into manga style images that you can then share with friends.
Now the company has just announced that the app has surpassed 3 million downloads as of May 20th. As we mentioned recently in our feature highlighting Japanese startups doing well abroad, Tokyo Otaku Mode has been pretty successful in reaching overseas audiences. Its Otaku Camera app seems to be no exception, with the Android version doing especially well in Europe, currently a top 25 photo app in Germany (18) and Austria (23), and a top 100 photo app in 33 countries in total.
On the iOS side, the app’s success seems to be largely in Asia, as it is a top 50 photo app in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, as well as its home market of Japan.
But the company is making improvements, adding new photo frames to the app that will hopefully resonate with users. They just announced new special frames for the app in collaboration with singer Namie Amuro and MTV Japan’s animated short Usavich. These frames will be free until July 31st. In total, the app has over 100 frames in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish.
I find it pretty interesting that some of Japan’s most successful startup exports are proving to be photo apps. The decoration app Snapeee has 80% of its users overseas, and for many apps in the decoration or collage categories, reaching audiences abroad appears not so hard. Other examples of Japanese companies peddling photo apps to global audiences include the veteran startup SnapDish, which had the goal of going global from the very start, and Cinnamon, which is targeting the Southeast Asian market with its Seconds app.
If you’d like to get a better idea for the the camera app works, do check out our demo video below.