Japanese messaging giant Line is pushing hard to associate itself with the selfie. It introduced a selfie-stickers app (!), has polled Europeans on their “selfie addiction,” and now is taking things further with a new photo app which… you guessed it… is dedicated to taking the perfect selfie.
B612, which takes its name from “The Little Prince” book, is initially available for iOS only. The app makes use of the front-facing camera exclusively, you simply touch the screen to take a photo of yourself and boom, there it is. There’s no shutter sound too, which encourages users to take as many photos as they like.
The app is really basic in that it doesn’t save each photo after it is taken — the onus is on you for that. Once you’ve snapped your selfie — yes, this is me, a 31-year old man taking photos of himself — you can share your creation to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or save it to your phone. Interestingly there’s no option to share to Line as you can with the company’s other photo app.
Most photo apps let you apply a filter once your photo is taken, but B612 takes a different route since you add the filter before snapping your photo. But since photos aren’t automatically saved and the camera is activated by touch, this works out quite well. You can manually select your filter or use a quick button on the bottom of the screen that shifts through them one-by-one.
There’s also an option to change the layout of the image, while sliding your finger up shows a menu of setting for further tweaks.
B612 has 43 filters. Coupled with the different types of images available, fine-tuning menu, and the simple yet speedy layout of the app, it might well appeal to those who are addicted to taking selfies.
However, there are already a veritable tonne of similar apps in the market, so it remains to be seen how B612 will fare against the competition.
I’m really not a selfie addict, but it’s clear that this app is part of Line’s effort to build up its brand awareness among young people in North America and Europe, which The Verge recently noted — though it is sure to be popular in Asia too. Earlier this summer, I talked to the company’s US chief who said that Line is preparing a series of games and other apps focused on the country. This certainly seems like one of the new releases that he hinted at, and we can expect more from the company.
Line says Android users will have to “wait a little while” before it is available to them. That seems to hint that the focus is on Western users, since Line typically introduces services in Asia on Android first.
Headline image via Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock
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