Sometimes, the oldest ideas in the tech world are the best — if they have enduring appeal, they can generally be mined ad infinitum for new twists and spins to keep them fresh and current; and that, product managers take note, is precisely what a new iOS app called Repix has done…and with spectacular success, too.
An app to make artists of us all
Repix allows users to remix photos with a veritable artist’s palate of different effects. Having debuted in the App Store just over a week ago, it was downloaded 1.5 million times in the first seven days alone. Now that’s the kind of success rate that might have the average product manager or chief revenue officer hugging themselves with jubilation.
Repix’s developers have cleverly built on the photo filtering technology which did so much to fuel Instagram’s success. And they seem to have surpassed previous standards: users can take a photo with their smartphones, or access one that’s already in the device or their Facebook accounts, and then paint over facets of the image using Repix’s suite of paintbrushes. And boy, do those paintbrushes work: the image can have its color enhanced in a range of styles (currently, Vintage, Hollywood and Bleach), it can be ‘posterized’, or given a masterpiece painting look in the style of Van Gogh and other artistic masters. You can even add a lens flare.
And it doesn’t stop there: different brushes can be added on top of one another and, if you think you’ve overdone it, there’s a neat “undo” brush to edit the excess away.
A simple business model
The question on the lips of most product managers and chief revenue officers at this point is: so what’s the business model? The app comes with a set of free brushes, but users who want to add a little more to their artistic repertoire can make in-app purchases of additional brushes. They cost $1.99 singly, or $4.99 for a bundle.
While some deft PR has undoubtedly helped to drive the torrent of downloads, the major factor appears to be Instagram and other social sharing.
Repix isn’t another photo-sharing site: create a masterpiece with its app and you can share it on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook by using the hashtag #repix. Maybe that’s why it’s