Lensa AI tops the charts in the App Store; Prepare for keyword spamming

With Lensa AI topping the App Store charts thanks to the viral appeal of its “magic avatars,” brace yourself for a flood of AI photo apps—both real and fake.

AI and machine learning have been buzzwords that developers love to use, whether their apps actually use it or not – but the open-source deep learning tool Stable Diffusion is making waves right now, and Lensa’s AI is using it , to make selfies impressive avatars …

Stable diffusion

Stable Diffusion is an incredibly sophisticated image generation tool whose most impressive feature is its ability to convert text prompts into photorealistic images, but it can also work with existing photos.

What blows my mind is the incredible speed at which the technology has gone from being a ridiculous novelty to images that resemble professional renderings, if not real photos.

A friend of mine recently demonstrated this, and asks versions 1-4 of Midjourney to show images of a “Ferrari SUV”. Here is version 1, from July this year:

Here’s version 4 now, less than six months later:

Lensa AI

Lensa AI is an iOS app that can do all the usual automated photo retouching, but recently applied Stable Diffusion code to create avatars from selfies.

TechCrunch notes that the popularity of the (paid) feature leads to keyword spamming by competing apps.

Consumer demand for the app, and for AI edits more broadly, has now pushed numerous other “AI” apps into the top charts of the US app store. As of Monday, the top three spots in the US App Store are all occupied by AI photo editors, and even more AI art apps are new to the top 100.

However, the #1 spot in the US app store is still held by Lensa AI, which saw 12.6 million installs worldwide in the first 11 days of December, a 600% increase from the 1.8 million installs in a similar period in November (November 20 to November 30), according to new data from App Store intelligence agency Sensor Tower. It is estimated that the US accounted for 3.6 million of these new installations in December.

In fact, 8 of the top 100 apps by downloads in the US app store in the period December 1-11 were AI art apps, according to the company’s analysis.

While it would be great to see more iOS apps taking advantage of stable diffusion, we can expect to see a lot more keyword spamming from downright nondescript apps.

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