The Brief: Gradient is a photo editing app best-known for its celebrity lookalike comparison feature.
What Is Gradient App?
Gradient is a free-to-download photo-editing application. In order to use the app’s features, users must sign up for a subscription. There is a free three-day trial before users are automatically billed $19.99 per month.
This app has a variety of photo editing features similar to apps like FaceTune. It’s come into the spotlight recently for its celebrity lookalike feature which is said to use AI technology to match a selfie with a celebrity, showing a transition between your face and theirs with a gradient morphing effect.
The Gradient app’s celebrity lookalikes don’t always really resemble the photo they started with, often pairing people with celebrities of different ethnicities and genders. Celebrities in the lookalike pool include portraits of historical figures like Immanuel Kant, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette, or Alexander Pushkin. Gradient’s comedic appeal may be part of the reason it’s currently ranked as the #1 photo and video app on Apple’s app store.
Safety & Privacy Concerns
The sudden viral popularity of Gradient is reminiscent of the excitement around Snapchat’s baby and gender swap filters and Face App’s aging feature. It’s also raised similar concerns about safety and privacy. Gradient the only application made by a developer called Ticket To The Moon, Inc., a relatively unknown company located in Delaware.
All the buzz around this app is likely more than just a chance-occurrence. Several high-profile celebrities including members of the Kardashian-Jenner family have posted screenshots from Gradient with the hashtags #ad or #gradient partner, indicating that these posts were paid promotions.
Examples & Memes
Privacy concerns aside, Gradient has many people sharing their celebrity-look-alikes and their reactions to being compared to beloved and unpopular public figures.
— 🧢 (@danistrashhh) October 16, 2019
but have you considered that body dysmorphia means having the gradient app in your head all day every day, pic.twitter.com/JYXvgBu41u
— ɥɔuʎq pıʌɐp (@soalexgoes) October 17, 2019
that gradient app sure is something else pic.twitter.com/tyv0nEAhmq
— 「 🍑=🍑 」 (@mikaeribitchin) October 17, 2019
Bro idk i feel like this Gradient app really missed the mark on multiple levels pic.twitter.com/GeonDKUBx0
— ʱ ͤ ʸ (@fiftyCALLIEber) October 15, 2019
Me: Will I ever be a Pop Queen?
The Gradient App: pic.twitter.com/1oI6e69rWj
— ✷𝕿𝕽𝕬𝕻𝕮𝕽𝖄✷ (@trapcry) October 17, 2019
— Play Bin Carti (@ArabCarti) October 17, 2019
used that gradient app thing on my dog and apparently she’s jennifer lawrence x pic.twitter.com/FolSpShZbw
— cait 💌 (@405DRlVE) October 17, 2019