Justin BIEBER ploughs cash into NaaS: NARCISSISM-as-a-Service
Cheers himself up following painful Brazilian parting
Justin Bieber has unveiled a social network dedicated to letting self-obsessed teens share pictures of themselves.
His selfie service is called Shots of Me and exists for the express purpose of allowing people to endlessly post crappy self-portraits.
Bieber, a teenage pop prince who has been in the news recently after an alleged lover shared intimate details of his alleged sexual performance and manhood size, has invested about $1.1m in Shots of Me.
It uses the front camera of the iPhone to take self-shots, or “selfies” in yoof parlance, which can then be shared with friends.
There is no capacity to comment on other people's photographs, which Bieber reportedly sees as a way to curb cyber-bullying.
The app is the work of RockLife, a firm which develops social games. John Shahidi, its founder, said peering at selfies was infinitely more entertaining than gaping at pictures of "coffee or salad", although El Reg might suggest that most self-portraits make most people look like vegetables.
“We were creating these games and had a good, young demographic. Always high schoolers,” RockLive CEO John Shahidi said. “We giggled that we knew how to market to high school girls so let’s build something even bigger.”
Bieber was keen on the app from the get-go. “Honestly, he loved it,” Shahidi continued. "He was a bit annoyed by other platforms. The commenting thing was something he really cared about. Not just for himself, but for the kids.
"He said 'I want a platform where my fans don’t have to deal with this'.”
We wanted to know if Bieber was the pied piper for a generation of narcissists.
Dr Vivian Vignoles, reader in social psychology at the University of Sussex, told us it was "plausible" that the rise of the selfie indicated that kids were becoming more self-obsessed.
He said: "I can see that it could be the case that if people are more narcissistic, they will be more likely to post their pictures everywhere. But equally, you could attribute that to a change in technology. Broadband and mobile internet speeds are faster, so it's easier to upload large files. It's simply easier to publish pictures of yourself than it has ever been before."
Bieber has not yet posted a selfie on the service. But, sadly, this momentous occasion cannot be far away. Be afraid. ®