Don’t be confused as you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed these days, the year is still 2019.
You didn’t time travel to 2050, and everyone’s just as young as you remember.
So what’s with all the pictures of your friends looking like they’ve aged 30 years overnight?
Almost anything can be done with technology nowadays, so it’s just an app, of course. You don’t actually need to worry about having to take care of your elderly friends.
Many photos of seemingly old people have flooded social media as of late, sometimes accompanied by a photo of how the original poster actually looks like in real life.
People around the world have found fascination with the app that turns your young self into an older version and is going completely crazy with it.
Called the FaceApp, it’s SO REALISTIC, you can barely tell if it’s real or not.
And it went so crazy, in fact, that people have dubbed this the FaceApp Challenge. And they’re calling for everyone to post their transformation on social media to find the best one of all.
Here’s one by basketball player Dwayne Wade, who looks like he visited the beautiful mountains years ago and is now returning after retirement for a throwback photo:
Even everyone’s childhood crushes, The Jonas Brothers, joined in on the fun, cleverly captioning their post “When you take a trip to the year 3000.”
Was my childhood that long ago?! I feel as old as them now.
Post-Endgame Captain America’s looking fresh as well, although he doesn’t really need the app, having turned into an old man just within a few seconds at the end of the film.
Spoiler period is already long over, okay.
It’s Not Actually New
FaceApp actually isn’t a new app, however.
It was first launched in 2017, boasting multiple features such as being able to make someone smile, swap your gender, or even change your skin colour.
The last feature was removed almost as soon as it was dropped though, for people complained that it was a tool enabling digital blackface, which is when people change their skin colour to a darker one to masquerade as a black person.
They really did get into a lot of trouble for that at the time.
Now, the app also allows users to make themselves seem older. If you’re not a fan of making yourself seem older because you’re already old enough as it is, you can also use the app to make yourself younger.
You may be wondering: if it’s such an old app, why is it surfacing again now?
Well, FaceApp’s upped their technology over the years, and with the new update, deception’s never been easier with their scarily accurate sensing. You know how fads can come alive again just as soon as they die out.
How Does It Work?
The developers in Russia use an artificial intelligence (AI) technology called neural networks to edit the photos directly, instead of slapping a filter over it, for more accuracy.
In an interview with TechCrunch two years ago when the app was first released, founder and CEO Yaroslav Goncharov explained: “We developed a new technology that uses neural networks to modify a face on any photo while keeping it photorealistic. For example, it can add a smile, change gender and age, or just make you more attractive.”
Unlike other apps like Meitu and Snapchat that use filter technology where your original photo isn’t changed, and apps that change your photo so much that it isn’t a ‘real’ photo any longer, FaceApp is aiming to be as realistic as possible.
“We believe that such entertaining effects are subject to trends, but photorealism is timeless,” he added.
Many have concerns about whether the app saves your personal pictures for data collection, however.
The app has said that they do collect photos as it has to be uploaded to the cloud for processing, so just be careful of what you upload. They’ll ask for access to your photo album as well for easier photo picking.
Here’s a tip if you want to try out the app but don’t wish for your information to be shared excessively.
Simply disable photo album access for the app, and just take selfies on the spot.
The Fun Doesn’t Last Long
If you’re thinking nothing good comes for free in this world, you’re mostly right.
FaceApp only allows a three day free trial from when you first download the app.
If you want to continue using it, you need to pay for a subscription. Figures, they need money to continue with upkeep of the app and the technology they use isn’t cheap either.
So your days of ageing yourself up won’t last for long unless you love it so much that you don’t mind paying a little for it.
Time to troll those friends you haven’t seen in a long time that you recently contracted a chronic disease that makes you age at double speed.