It was supposed to be big, and TechCrunch was endlessly optimistic:
"Overall, Shots of Me feels refreshing because every face is fascinating."
"It's a social network entirely for selfies. The premise is simple, but it hides the amount of work and detail that went into Shots of Me."
"Some will undoubtedly say Bieber has no business investing in tech, but if he can consistently sell millions of record and huge numbers of concert tickets, he must have a knack for understanding what kids want."
And so on. It also grabbed marquee backing from Justin Bieber, Floyd Mayweather, and esteemed starfucker VC Shervin "Cash Money" Pishevar. With a venture capital team that looks like a bottle service table crew, Shots of Me had every possible privilege a nascent app could ask for—this is the tech equivalent of an L.A. private school education and a trust fund.
And yet. Right out of the gates, it was clear the publicity launch pad under Shots of Me hadn't helped much:
@shervin what i'm saying is, it's #128 free app. kinda not so hot.
— drew olanoff (@drew) November 18, 2013
That's an inauspicious start. A source I spoke with who is deeply familiar with iOS App Store rankings explained just how a 128th ranking is:
128 free is about 10k downloads in the US only. Outside top 300 is probably 3-4k.
Very bad. But some things are a slow burn, a gradual build towards app apoplexy. Not Shots of Me, so far. Maybe a slow fizzle. Download data from App Annie shows a steady decline out of the hundreds, and into the bleak sub-1000 range—the Phantom Zone of mobile software:
At 1,467, Shots of Me might as well not exist. To put that in some context, Path is ranked slightly higher, and man, no one uses Path.
But what about the Bieber effect? Young Beebz didn't plug his app immediately at launch, but rather exhorted his legions to use it a little later, on Twitter. Sure enough, tens of thousands of tweens flocked to Shots of Me—his first upload netted over 80,000 likes:
That number has declined with every subsequent selfie—an upload two days ago received under 50,000 clicks. Compare that to Instagram, where Bieber uploads multiple times almost every single day, each bringing hundreds of thousands of likes, and providing little reason to download Shots. The two apps are in entirely different positions—Instagram is of course enormously more established than Shots of Me—but the assumption that Bieber's aura alone would make the selfie machine a hit is just not true right now. Maybe, this wasn't a really great idea for an app.
Shots of Me did not reply to questions about the app's usage or popularity.