Selfie app Meitu wants to be a social platform (but users just want nice selfies)
China loves selfies. That’s why selfie-beautifying apps like Meitu are so big in the country.
But right now, after selfie lovers edit their faces with Meitu, they leave the app to post their photos on WeChat or Weibo. That is something the app’s maker badly wants to change.
Last week, China’s go-to selfie-altering app Meitu completed what the CEO says was “the biggest revamp in ten years”, putting a new photo-sharing section on the front page together with its beloved editing tools. It’s part of the company’s new goal to become the next big social platform.
In an internal letter about the company’s progress, the company’s CEO Xinhong Wu closed with this quote: “Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm,” and the warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.’’”
(If you’re wondering where the quote is from, well… nobody’s quite sure if it’s originally from an ancient proverb. But it’s more likely that Wu is a Tom Cruise fan, because he says it in the new Mission: Impossible movie.)
But reaction to the new look has been lukewarm so far. Commentator are skeptical because of the dominance of WeChat and Weibo, and the few comments under the company’s announcement of the revamp are mostly from users who just want things to go back to the way they were.
“Please change it back,” several users commented on its Weibo post.
“I just want to edit some photos, I don’t need all the gaudy content,” says another user.
That may not happen soon, because the company says it plans to promote “the Meitu brand as a social platform” for the next ten years, bringing in more traffic to boost advertising revenue, including more from male users, according to its latest filing.
Right now, more than 70% of Meitu’s revenue comes from selling smartphones with built-in beautifying functions. Its latest model -- the T9, has a massive top bezel housing a dual selfie camera and two fill lights, with a special Sailor Moon Crystal edition that comes with a Moon Stick selfie stick.