Photo sharing app Poparazzi hit the top spot on the U.S. App Store charts when it launched Monday after a TestFlight beta. It's a huge debut for the buzzy app, which has captured the attention of both teens and VCs.
The app's conceit is simple: You only take photos of other people, acting as your friends' "Poparazzi." On your profile, pictures other people have taken of you appear front and center, with photos you've taken of other people relegated to a secondary tab. The developers say this is designed to "foster the authentic exchange of photos between friends," in an attempt to "make social media less self-centered, and more about the people we care about."
The app has other features seemingly focused on building a "healthier" social media app: You can't edit photos before posting them; you can't comment on photos (though you can react with emoji); and you can't see other people's follower counts (though you can see how many views their "pops" have).
Unlike other hot apps like Clubhouse and Dispo, Poparazzi is publicly available and you don't need an invite to sign up. Despite that, it's clearly designed to go viral. When uploading a photo of someone not on the app, Poparazzi sends a text to that person telling them that a photo's been posted of them. And a hyperactive, haptic-heavy onboarding video seems designed to grab users from the get go.
The app's developed by TTYL, led by brothers Alex and Austen Ma. The two have previously released other social networking apps, including audio social network TTYL, video texting app Typo, a virtual yearbook signing app, and a Clubhouse-for-schools app. According to Crunchbase the company raised a $2 million seed round, led by Floodgate Fund, in 2018. Poparazzi appears to be its first big hit.
Other VCs already seem to be circling. SignalFire's Josh Constine wrote that Poparazzi is "the perfect app for Hot Vaxx Summer," while Founders Fund's Delian Asparouhov joked that A16Z's Andrew Chen has to offer the company a term sheet immediately.