Since Instagram's invention in 2010, photography apps have proliferated. There are apps for taking pictures, editing pictures, combining pictures, and of course, sharing pictures.
Now, there's even an app that turns pictures into, well, not pictures.
Using "a unique combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence," Prisma transforms everything from your Sunday brunch Instagram to your latest cat Snapchat...
... into a work of art.
Launched on June 11, the latest photography app is also the only one to go beyond actual photography. Instead of simply placing a filter over an existing picture, like Instagram and Snapchat have done for years, it completely recreates them in various art styles, including some inspired by famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Isaac Levitan.
While Prisma still has a long way to go before it can compete with the heavy hitters of the photography app world, it's already gained an impressive following. Just over a month after launching, the app has attracted over 1 million daily users, according to the company's Facebook post last Thursday.
It's easy to see why. The app combines its unique ability to create, not just capture, something their users have never seen before with a display that looks quite familiar.
Taking a page out of Instagram's heavily-filtered scrapbook, Prisma functions similarly with its swipe and select art style interface. The styles range from mosaic to pop art and everywhere in between, with some modeled after famous paintings like The Scream.
The first time a user selects a style, the app rebuilds the picture from the ground up, replacing the photograph with an original artistic interpretation. Though this means pictures do take longer to load than in other apps, the wait is well worth it.
"We do the image fresh," Alexey Moiseenkov, the app's co-founder, told The Guardian. "We draw something like a real artist would... People want to create something, and we allow them to experiment."
Though the app is easy to use, its 35 (and counting) art styles don't make it easy to choose.
Luckily for indecisive artists, the app allows them to save as many versions of the same picture as they like. After trying out a couple — or a couple dozen — styles, users can then upload their desired version to their linked Instagram and Facebook accounts.