In a digital age where the blend of nostalgia and modern technology often goes viral, a new app named EPIK (available on the App Store and Google Play) has recently topped the charts by offering a unique proposition – reliving the 90s. But what exactly is EPIK, who is behind it, and how has it managed to capture the hearts of millions? Here’s a deep dive into the phenomenon that is EPIK.
EPIK is a creative photo-editing app that has captured the imagination of social media enthusiasts around the globe. It primarily allows users to generate nostalgic, 90s-inspired “yearbook” photos of themselves, transporting them back to an era known for its distinctive style. The app does this by utilizing a series of user-uploaded selfies which it then transforms into throwback yearbook photos, featuring the user in various poses, styles, and hairstyles.
The brains behind this innovative app is the South Korea-based Snow Corporation, a subsidiary of Naver. Snow Corporation is not new to the arena of imaginative digital solutions, as they also helm the AI profile app Snow.
To create these vintage-esque images, users need to upload between eight to twelve selfie images. EPIK’s artificial intelligence then processes these selfies, churning out 60 different images that echo the 90s yearbook style. While the app itself is free to download, users are required to pay for the AI-generated output. They can choose between standard delivery, which has a wait time of up to 24 hours, or express delivery, which promises photos in less than two hours.
Besides its viral yearbook photo feature, the app offers a plethora of other templates. However, the yearbook photo feature undoubtedly remains its crowning glory, enticing users to share their AI-generated photos across various social media platforms.
The success of EPIK is quite noticeable as the app recently surged to the number one spot on the U.S App Store (see the graph above, source: Similarweb). Since its launch in August 2021, it has seen a whopping total of 92.3 million lifetime installs. The traction significantly picked up around late September 2023, with influencers and general users alike sharing their EPIK creations online, particularly on Instagram. Despite its booming success, the app faced challenges in meeting the overwhelming demand, which led to temporary service delays.
The journey of EPIK reflects a harmonious blend of nostalgia and modern technology, showcasing the potential of AI in creating engaging and personalized digital experiences. Whether or not EPIK will maintain its viral status in the face of fleeting digital trends remains to be seen, but for now, it continues to ride the wave of 90s nostalgia with a modern twist.
Image credits: Instagram
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