Frontback shutdown shows that selfies don’t equal success
The selfie craze might not be slowing down any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that self-portraiture products are a license to print money. Need proof? Just look at Frontback. After two years of investment and hype from the likes of Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, the selfie-plus-rear-photo service is shutting down. The social network will wind down as of August 15th, and you’ll have until September 15th to download all your pictures. Frontback’s iOS client will be reduced to a camera app during the transition, while the Android version is disappearing.
As the creators note, there was a big difference between creating a selfie-oriented social platform and sustaining it. While Frontback did rack up 2 million users, it took newcomers “too much time and effort” to understand the app — people tended to use it on an “infrequent” basis after signing up. In other words, it’s not enough to use selfies as a main selling point. While big services like Instagram and Snapchat thrive on “here I am” snapshots, it’s really their simple concepts and strong community features that keep people hooked.