If you’ve seen your friends taking some wacky photos of themselves recently – as if they’re trapped in a glass, or set as a laptop’s wallpaper – then they’re probably using the new PIP Camera app. Launched last month on Android and iPhone, PIP Camera gives you a bunch of frames and scenes that work best with close-up photos of people (or animals).
The company behind this new photo-filter app is the same Chinese startup that makes FotoRus, the GIF-maker app that soared past 20 million downloads last November. Team member Hua Xue tells us that PIP Camera has seen 2.5 million downloads worldwide of its iOS version since it was launched two weeks ago. On January 5th that spiked to 550,000 downloads in just one day. It’s currently number one in the photo category in the iTunes Store in China, France, Mexico, and a few other countries.
PIP Camera is free for now on iPhone, but that’s only for a limited time. The startup will also “optimize the advertising” in a free version while also preparing in-app purchases for some extra virtual items.
The self-snapshot app comes with 23 “Pip-Styles” ready for use, plus a library where you can choose from over twenty other funky frames and effects:
The startup’s earlier FotoRus app also has these kinds of pic-in-pic (I guess that’s what “PIP” stands for) special effects, so the new app is basically spinning these off into a new app of its own. Of course, PIP Camera can also work for some kinds of landscape shots so long as there’s one interesting focal point to which you can apply the special effects.
In terms of social sharing, it so far supports Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, and Renren. But Twitter sharing seems to be missing in the Android version, which might be a bug.