Bieber Selfie App Shots Starts Its Inevitable Evolution... to Comedy

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Justin Bieber.
Justin Bieber. Credit: GettyImages

Shots, the app for sharing selfies whose backers include Justin Bieber, has attracted a rich mix of mockery, investment money and users in big doses.

Now, however, it's broadening its mission, as TechCrunch reports:

Now the 6.6 million monthly active user social network wants to boost kids' spirits by refocusing around comedy. Today's iOS and Android update lets users share any link, not just self portraits, and the most LOL-worth ones will end up in a special 'Funny' tab.

In some ways the shift mimics the classic strategy of a fledgling cable-TV network. In cable, it goes like this: Secure carriage on pay-TV systems by promising to focus on something very specific, such as pets or the fine arts. Let time pass. Slowly add programming with ever-broadening themes. Get in a fight with cable and satellite companies that say you're not delivering what your promised. Use your steadily growing audience as leverage to fight back. Wake up one morning a relatively broad-based network.

In the app world, there's no middleman to fight with, but there's still the need to get attention in the first place with a unique selling proposition. No matter if it's absurdly niche, particularly if you have a celebrity backer to generate unpaid media attention. (An absurd premise might actually help in that case.) And then: Evolve.

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