Why Don’t People Smile In Their Selfies? This App Wants To Change That

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Besides smartphone screen sizes bigger than their holder’s head and creepy Post-it notes on the mirror, app developer Brad Madalone noticed something strange about the selfie phenomenon: People rarely smiled in these pictures. However, when he observed this same group smile in photos taken by someone else, he had an idea. This past March, Madalone launched Helpie, a selfie app that snaps a pic of you every time you smile at your phone. As may be expected, smiling is the first thing you are required to do upon installing so Helpie’s facial recognition software can work its magic. The prompt asks you to produce two versions of a smile: A toothy one and a closed mouth one. The convenience of the app lies in it not just snapping pics without letting you get prepared. It gives you 3 seconds to strike a pose then it says Cheese! Automatically, the photo is shared on Facebook and Twitter.

While some love the randomness of the app, there are those who create several fake Google Play accounts giving it bad reviews. One man, 20-year-young Andrew Sniles is even suing Madalone and Helpie for making him unhappy in life. “I use to be the most positive person you would ever meet. Ask my friends. Then when I heard about this app I thought it was cool. I mean, I’m always taking selfies. I got all the other selfie apps like FrontBack and Shots, so why not. I started getting annoyed at the app taking all these pics of me when I smiled at text messages from my girlfriend or when I read Onion articles on my phone. It was even taking pictures when I was laughing. I thought it was just for smiles? Instead of uninstalling it I just started frowning at my phone. No matter how cute a text was or how adorable a kitten was I just frowned. This eventually crossed over into the real world. My friends started making up excuses not to hang out with me. My girlfriend dumped me. Even my baby sister cries when I go pick her up. She don’t even reach her little arms out for me to hold her anymore. I didn’t know what was wrong with me until I looked in the mirror and saw my facial expression was stuck on a frown. This app has destroyed my life!”

At press time, Madalone couldn’t be reached for comment regarding the lawsuit.

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