London - Almost everyone is aware that celebrities in magazines are usually digitally enhanced to have flawless skin and dazzling white teeth, but how about your friends’ photos on social networks?
A new breed of photo editing app is gaining popularity as people seek to digitally doctor their selfies so that they too can look “perfect” on social media sites.
One free app, Perfect365, which calls itself a “one-tap make-over”, allows people to opt for a “natural touch up”, which can include smoothing out their skin, eradicating pores and covering up spots far more effectively than concealer.
However, as social media is meant to be a spontaneous snapshot of life, many people are not freely admitting to using technology to make themselves look better.
While countless selfies are posted on social media networks such as Twitter and Instagram every day, relatively few people disclose they have used photo touch-up technology by using a hashtag such as #Perfect365.
According to The Huffington Post, just 50 000 selfies on Instagram have been marked with the tag, but the Perfect365 app has been downloaded a staggering 17 million times since its launch in 2011.
Caroline Tien-Spalding, director of consumer marketing at ArcSoft, which owns Perfect365, believes there is more pressure these days to project yourself looking at your very best.
“You don’t know how long that photo is going to live or how long the impression that you’re putting out there will last,” she said.
A number of apps, such as Pixtr and FaceTune allow users to boost specific facial features, from brightening their smile to enhancing their eyes, which is an extension of red-eye eradicating tools that have been used for years.
A collection of apps called ModiFace, which have collectively been downloaded more than 27 million times, allow people to change the shape of their bone structure significantly.
Demand for the apps largely comes from young females, and 70 percent of FaceTune users are female, while two- thirds of Perfect365’s users are under the age of 24.
While photo retouching technology has long been available in expensive computer packages and used in fashion magazines, the rise of free photo editing apps has enabled more people to make their selfies picture perfect.
Some smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 already come with a range of post-editing features and Instragram-style filters. It also allows you to change the shape of your face, airbrush it, brighten it and clear spots.
FEATURES OF PHOTO EDITING APPS
l Perfect 365 – A free version allows users to get a healthy-looking natural glow and try out make-up looks, while a more comprehensive paid-for package lets its users retouch multiple people in one photo.
l FaceTune – A more hands-on tool that lets people blur imperfections with little brushes. Users can brighten their teeth, zap zits and even airbrush on hair.
l Modiface – This app allows people to reshape their face and enhance features like their eyes and lips.
l Pixtr – This app simply blurs and removes imperfections in photos.
l Visage Lab – A “beauty laboratory” that removes wrinkles and spots and adds digital make-up to photos. Users can opt for a “trendy make-over”, allowing them to try new make-up looks with names such as “ocean breeze,” as well as filters with names such as “lavender”. While there are lots of options available, the company said 80 percent of its users opt for the “natural” setting which blurs imperfections and evens out skin tone almost undetectably. – Daily Mail