Climbing the free apps list this week is Bitstrips, a month-old app that lets users create their own comic strips. But with over 10 million users of the creator, it’s taken more than a month in the app store to get there.
The Bitstrips comic creator lets users turn themselves and family and friends into cartoon avatars, then place them in pre-made, but easily editable cartoons. It was first launched a year ago as an app for Facebook, allowing users to share their photos directly in their News Feed.
But the release of the Bitstrips app has helped the number of users clear the 10 million mark, International Business Times reports, which is why you’re probably seeing these strange comics showing up on your Facebook page over the last month, seemingly out of nowhere.
The app was launched on September 29, and at the time of writing, has climbed its way to #7 on Canada’s Top Free Apps list in the iTunes store. This week, the company released version 1.1.7, which fixes many of the bugs that existed in the app, and likely contributed heavily to its sudden growth in popularity.
In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, CEO of the Toronto-based company Jacob Blackstock said that he thinks the app has hit it off with users because it takes Facebook statuses and brings them to life.
“Bitstrips is hard to categorize because it’s not a game,” Blackstock said. “It’s a new way to express yourself and interact with your friends. Instead of posting the same things as everyone else, you can create something that relates to your life.”
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So why have you never heard of this apparently revolutionary app? The company has relied entirely on word of mouth and sharing amongst friends.
“We’ve done zero advertising, and our acquisition cost so far has been nothing,” Bitstrips’ VP of Marketing Shahan Panth told Venture Beat in July. “We attribute it to striking a chord with people and providing a visual element to online communication that has been missing.”
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