Meitu selfie app is becoming one of the most popular apps on the market. In fact, it was named as one of the top 10 apps of 2016. The app works by giving users filters, frames and effects with augmented reality software, similar to what users see on Snapchat selfies. In turn, people can look slimmer, reduce wrinkles and even add make-up to their selfies.
The company explains that their mission is to “create a global community where people from all around the world can explore and discover new ideas related to beauty, and ultimately by using our virtual tools, have more confidence to bring these new ideas into the real world.”
According to their website, Meitu was launched 9 years ago and the company has since created apps with a focus on mobile and virtual technologies. Since then, the company’s products are installed in over 1 billion unique devices around the world with 430 million users outside of China. Not to mention 6.0 billion photos generated from Meitu apps every month. A CNN Money report revealed that the company is now worth $5 billion after raising $629 million from investors.
Their selfie app is one of the most popular apps on their platform. The app’s ability to give a person a makeover without ever having to step outside has done extremely well following the rise of Snapchat’s Augmented Reality photos and videos .
Meitu first went public in Hong Kong last month and it is quickly spreading across the United States. However, many security analysts are pointing their finger at the Meitu app and saying that the app requires more personal information than should be required for a selfie application.
The Meitu app is currently available in both the App Store and Google Play and requires permission to access a user’s camera, which is not abnormal for a photo related application. But, information security analyst Greg Linares commented on Twitter that the Android version of the Meitu app wants information about other applications users are using, their location, call history, carrier details and their wifi connections.
Let me get this straight…
All of you just installed a photo app from China that requires these permissions? Let me know how it works out. pic.twitter.com/wGDUYbRdSA
— Greg Linares (@Laughing_Mantis) January 19, 2017
In a statement to Wired, Meitu explained that collecting data is used to optimize the app’s performance and features in order to understand consumer engagement and in-app advertisements.
Meitu added, “As Meitu is headquartered in China, many of the services provided by app stores for tracking are blocked. To get around this, Meitu employs a combination of third-party and in-house data tracking systems to make sure the user data tracked is consistent.”