Justin Bieber-backed selfie app challenges 'envy'

Justin Bieber's face

The founder of a selfie-sharing app backed by Justin Bieber, has said it is encouraging users to be "positive".

John Shahidi said Shots of Me would help people avoid the "jealousy, envy and manipulation" seen on other social networks.

Justin Bieber is understood to have invested most of the app's $1.1 million (£691,000) funding.

Mr Shahidi, chief executive of developer RockLive, said the number of users was "far more" than expected.

However, he was unable to say how many people were using the app since its launch last month.

Shots of Me's creators claim they are not attempting to compete with Snapchat, Instagram and other popular apps.

Speaking to Newsbeat from California, Mr Shahidi said: "We don't wake up in the morning wanting to be the next big social network or the next big iPhone app."

Shots of Me screen grab
Shots of Me claims to encourage users to interact 'positively' and feel 'at ease'

"We want to create something that's better for the world, meaning something, a social network that's really about connecting with people in a positive way.

"We want it to be as authentic as possible and we want to start with the younger generation and that's where Justin comes in.

"That's the world we're trying to create here with Shots of Me and frankly that's why Justin got involved," said Mr Shahidi.

Shots of Me users cannot comment on pictures or apply filters to their photos.

The developer suggested the abuse Justin Bieber has received online may have influenced his decision to back the project.

"I have never talked about how bad it is for him, but if you go on his Instagram right now, or even type in different social networks, Justin Bieber [followed by] any bad word, you're going to see thousands of things.

"It's got to have affected him, it would affect any one of us, it's human."

The star's involvement will undoubtedly gain the app publicity in the short term.

Justin Bieber's face
Bieber posted this picture captioned 'crazy face'. His involvement is said to be key

But other celebrities have tried to back their own alternative social media projects with varying success.

"We're not in a rush to grow this [Shots of Me] overnight," said Mr Shahidi.

"By no means are we trying to say, 'We're the next this, the next that'. We want to create something that is simple, but there's a need for it and it's fun and positive.

"And when you create something that's fun and positive people will come back.

"If it takes us three months, six months, one year, two years, it takes us that long."

Shots of Me is so far only available for iPhone but RockLive say they hope to bring the app to Android and Windows Phone in the future.

"We're definitely looking at both of them. Right now our focus is to make iOS as strong as possible."

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