FaceApp old age challenge: Viral Android and iOS app shows some scary home truths about ageing

Georgia Chambers

A new app that tells you what you’ll look like when you age has been sweeping the internet for its accurate (and often hilarious) facial reconstructions.

FaceApp lets users pick a photo from their gallery and can make them look decades older in a matter of minutes – talk about time catching up with you. The app also lets users see what they would look like if they were a few years younger, or a different gender.

The app has proved so popular that it’s sparked a viral internet challenge dubbed #FaceAppChallenge, with everyone from Drake to Sam Smith posting pictures of their future selves.

The app first appeared on iOS in January 2017 and was launched on Android in February of the same year. It hasn’t been without its controversies though, including accusations of racism and privacy violations.

Here’s what you need to know:

How does FaceApp work?

The App uses neural networks – a type of artificial intelligence – to make its facial transformations.

It can use photos from your library or alternatively, users can snap a photo within the app. If you have too many photos in your gallery, the app can also scan your photo library and pull out only the photos that feature faces.

You can then save the edited image and post it on social media to your heart’s content.

Is FaceApp free?

FaceApp is free but comes with the option of purchasing a $3.99 (£3.22) premium service, which comes with perks including ad-removal and the ability to edit multiple faces.

Which celebrities have tried FaceApp?

Kevin Hart, Iggy Azalea and the Jonas Brothers have all given their fans a glimpse of what they could look like in the next few decades.

Here are some of our favourite celebrity FaceApps.

Why are there concerns over privacy?

Some users have raised concerns about FaceApp being able to access their entire gallery – not just the images they choose to upload to the app.

This isn’t helped by the fact that FaceApp’s privacy statement is confusingly vague, saying that they “may share User Content and your information with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that FaceApp is.”

FaceApp is yet to clarify its privacy policy, but if you’re concerned about this, there is an in-app option which denies the app access to your photos, but grants it permission to use your camera.

This isn’t the first time the app has come under fire – in 2017, FaceApp was forced to remove filter which allowed users to change their ethnicity following a widespread backlash, with many calling the app out as racist.