Almost exactly a year ago, TechCrunch started building anticipation over Selfie.com, a website that teased some upcoming startup, but revealed nothing. Today the mystery ends, and boy is it dumb: an app called "Selfie."
Selfie combines all the pieces of a TechCrunch classic: a name and premise teeming with buzzwords, a bucketful of investment bucks, and a hint of secrecy. When "Selfie.com" and its founder were in "super stealth mode" over a year ago, TechCrunch breathlessly wrote up the startup as "shrouded in mystery and excitement."
In a world where photo-sharing reigns supreme, where Instagram and its mighty legion of copycats, wannabes and tweaked iterations lead a massive charge, a new photo-sharing service rises out of the huddled mass to deliver the best that photography has to offer: selfies. [...]
As far as Selfie itself, nothing of real interest has been disclosed.
A source, wishing to remain anonymous, claims to have heard about and seen an early version of Selfie, saying it was "really cool." No details, though.
That's right: a startup with "no details" and "nothing of real interest" was also rising above "the huddled mass" of app garbage flooding our phones.
Meet Selfie, the app that lets you send video selfies to your friends or the whole network to have back-and-forth Selfie conversations. The main premise is that we are constantly trying to find ways to express ourselves, from all the way back to the letter and the phone to Twitter and FaceTime, but that there is still an empty spot where asynchronous face-to-face communication should be.
Here's Selfie's co-founder, Hugh Dornbush, on the very interesting origins of the company's name:
"When we first decided to call it Selfie, the word hadn't really picked up the same way it has now," said Dornbush. "We were trying to come up with the right name for expressing yourself, and came across two girls in a bar taking a pic together. When we asked what they were doing, they said 'It's a selfie, duh.' That's when we knew we had it."
According to TechCrunch, the company started building Selfie in May 2012, long before clueless newscasters began misidentifying any old portrait as a selfie. That means they spent over two years building an app that is, effectively, Justin Bieber's (failed) Shots of Me crossed with WhatsApp. And yet? TechCrunch thinks this app is the beginning of something big:
[The] term selfie also connotes a photo that is trying to look beautiful. A headshot, even. A selfie is meant to be attractive, and be sent out to the world for feedback. [...]
Could this be the beginning of a more realistic digital identity?