The Real Reason Photo Editing Apps Are So Popular Right Now

Back in the day (aka a few weeks ago), we used apps to give ourselves bunny ears, sparkly eyes, or a long tongue. Today, we rely on photo apps to do so much more than that. Thanks to social distancing during the pandemic, more of us are leaning into social media to stay in touch with family and friends and to hold work-related meetings. And thanks to the shutdown of non-essential services, we're having to deal with the reality of not having our hairdressers ready to help us hide our most obvious flaws — and we're now having to deal with realities we never had to think about before.

Faith Zellman, a bartender who has taken to beauty blogging and doing makeup tutorials, knows firsthand the pain of having hairdressing deemed a non-essential service. She told USA Today why she turned to Facetune, explaining, "Someone called me out during a Facebook Live saying 'Your roots are showing.' I didn't want anyone else to see that my roots have gotten this bad so I used the app to tint them espresso brown." And she's not alone, because USA Today reports that social media users are now using photo editing apps to make their hair and skin look better (since dermatologists are deemed non-essential, too).

Video content creating apps are also taking off

Photo editing apps aren't the only ones getting a boost in the time of the coronavirus — video content creating apps have taken off, too. One developer, Lightricks, says that its apps Facetune, Pixaloop, Quickshot, and Photofox are seeing a 20 percent spike in daily usage, with people also spending 25 percent more time editing videos. Lightricks CEO Zeev Farbman says circumstances are driving people to find creative outlets, and content creators like Cody Wanner agree. "I normally use [Videoleap] twice a week, but I've literally used it every day since we started physical distancing and staying at home. I'm craving that human connection. It can be really fun to make videos a bit more engaging for the people who are going to watch it. It's almost like a one-on-one social connection that way," he told USA Today.

Audiences seem to agree. One influencer agency says it's picked up a 76 percent increase in daily "likes" on Instagram and a 27 percent bump in engagement levels on TikTok.