If James Franco has taught us anything, it’s that a selfie can be leveraged to reach a magnitude of followers. There’s no question that the single-handed, oft-gratuitous shot has cemented itself in the modern zeitgeist. The proliferation of the selfie has become so widespread that it’s been nearly impossible to contain—until now.
Selfbee, a brand-new social networking app, functions as a digital portal to snap and share your filtered self-portraits with a legion of followers, which you rack up with increased engagement. Founder Roberto Quiroz Mata had the idea to capitalize on the front-facing phenomenon after he read that Justin Bieber invested in his own selfie app, Shots. A week or so later, he noticed a friend taking a ton of selfies on his iPhone, but instead of posting them somewhere, they stayed stowed away in the dark hole of the Camera Roll. “I thought, We need a place for all these to go—but not just a random place,” Mata said.
When you open the Selfbee app, you’re instantly prompted to take a selfie for your profile picture. For every subsequent selfie you take, you’re asked to label it with a category (location, friend, special someone, etc.), to consciously avoid taking an endless series of near-identical duck face pics. These categorized images then populate on a main, Instagram-like feed of solely selfies, which you can “like” by tapping and pressing down on an image until the heart icon fills up. “It’s not just random selfies that you’re uploading,” Mata said. “You’re actually giving them a point and a purpose.”
Similar to the “explore” option on Instagram, the “discover” section of the app enables you to find and follow other users. These followers then become members of your “hive,” a community of people you follow and people that are following you. Your hive will instantly be updated on your photo and will be allowed to “like” and comment on your endeavors. To spawn additional social interaction within the app, Mata and his team also devise a Daily Challenge, in which users are asked to do anything from “meet someone new” to “go out for a jog” (and document it with a selfie, of course).
But even though selfies are often seen as a generator of positive reinforcement, Mata insists that Selfbee is not all about likes. “We all want more likes, but the ability to upload a picture of yourself and be secure with it makes you feel good about yourself and interact well with others,” he said. “You can reach out and meet new people that you’d never expect.” We definitely <3 that.
The Selfbee app is free and available for download in the iTunes app store.
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