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People are still using FaceApp to see what they’d look like as a person of the opposite gender

The face-morphing app is making the rounds of social media — again.

Sir Patrick Stewart in a picture as himself and then as his imaginary female self
Sir Patrick looks pretty great as Lady Patsy.
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

What would you look like as a person of the opposite gender? Your Facebook friends want to know. Facial morphing app FaceApp is making the rounds again, this time through various quiz and entertainment websites like Kueez and Viralemon.

As of Monday, FaceApp was the second-most popular photography app on Google Play in the U.S., after Photo Frame & Photo Editor, an app that lets you make greeting cards and change photo backgrounds. It’s the third-highest-grossing photo app, as far as in-app purchases and subscriptions. The free version is ad supported, but users can pay extra to access more filters or remove the company’s watermark.

FaceApp, which uses neural networks to create photorealistic facial transformations, has been around since the beginning of 2017 and its popularity had ebbed and flowed, but has recently ticked up again. Since its launch, FaceApp has had 3.8 million iOS and Google Play downloads in the U.S., according to app market data company App Annie.

Like the Google Arts & Culture App, which matches your likeness to artworks that most closely resemble you, FaceApp plays on people’s vanity.

FaceApp can alter your image to look older or younger, male or female, smiling or wearing glasses. It can, also, for some reason, show you what you’d look like as a hitman, which as far as I can tell means as a bald man.

Last year, the app removed a troubling “hotness” filter that lightened people’s skin color.

Here are some celebrity gender swaps:

Sir Patrick Stewart in a picture as himself and then as his imaginary female self

And face morphs for some non-celebrities:

The app collects quite a bit of information about you that it uses to serve you ads. Here’s the full privacy policy.

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