About-face: Memoji App Turns Your Selfies Into Emojis

By Yonatan Sredni, NoCamels April 10, 2017 Comments

Due to their popularity and widespread use, emojis have become an accepted – and for many, the preferred – form of communication. When conveying “ok”, “nice job”, or “well done” to a co-worker, simply use the ever-popular thumbs up emoji. Want to express your love for that special someone? Just send them an emoji blowing heart-shaped kisses.

But what if instead of merely sending emojis, you could actually create and share an image where you transform into one?

Seeking to take emojis to the next level, Israeli startup Lightricks, developer of the popular selfie editing app Facetune 2.0, announced last week the launch of a new emoji app, Memoji from Facetune.

Memoji uses artificial intellegence to automatically edit your selfies to reflect a given emoji. With the help of a fun and easy to use editing tool, along with cutting edge image processing technologies, Memoji allows users to naturally reshape and animate any image of their face to reflect a specific feeling or emotion of their choice.

“Emojis have become a part of everyday conversation and guide the way we chat and share our emotions, but the overall reach and impact of this important technology is limited,” Nir Pochter, CMO of Lightricks said in a statement. “As emoji connoisseurs we knew that the next level of societal emojification was to let it guide the photo editing process from the very start. People want more than to just send emojis, they want to be emojis.”

SEE ALSO: Moojis Turns Your Selfies Into Personal Emojis

Memoji gives users the ability to instantly morph any selfie to reflect the emotion in the emoji. If you want to truly express how shocked you are, or how funny you found something, the image can be instantly adjusted and animated to reflect your emotion. Additional features include the ability to instantly turn an individual into a unicorn.

Users can send their edited selfies as a GIF, video, or image. Memoji from Facetune is currently only available for iOS (with Android coming soon) and can be downloaded for free on the App Store.

The minds behind the emojis

Founded by five entrepreneurs, Lightricks created the successful mobile app Facetune, a portrait photo editor that enables everyday users to easily achieve professional-level results, and Enlight, a comprehensive set of photo editing tools for mobile.

In August 2015, after being entirely self-funded for two years, Lightricks raised $10 million in its first external funding round, led by Carmel Ventures.

From all smiles to no smiles 

The team behind Memoji has a unique sense of humor, a trait that seems to be a requirement when working in the world of emojis.

“I don’t smile in pictures,” Zeev Farbman, CEO of Lightricks said in a statement. “So when my girlfriend showed me a picture of me smiling in a photo we took on a hike, I was dumbfounded and scared. I’d spent years cultivating an image of Spartan focus and strength and this one photo threatened to ruin decades of consistency. Thankfully, we had already developed Memoji and I was able to instantly click on the frowny face emoji to bring order and decency back into my life.”


One of the many faces of Lightricks CEO Zeev Farbman.

Lightrick’s Pochter doesn’t take himself too seriously either.

“While the world is busy applying AI to silly ventures like autonomous vehicles and data analysis,” Pochter said in a statement, “we’re taking it to where the need is greatest – making us more sophisticated emotional beings – emojis.”

Photos and video: Memoji

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