Earlier this week, Re/code reported on a Twitter direct message fail by CFO Anthony Noto in which he wrote—to no one in particular—”we should buy them.”
The tweet was hastily erased. But it left everyone wondering: Who is the “them” Noto was talking about?
Some of the possibilities floated about with varying amounts of evidence included Secret, Storehouse, and Mic News (which would raise interesting questions if Twitter decides to become a news publisher). But one likely candidate was an app backed by Justin Bieber. It’s called Shots, whose founders have been spotted having meetings at Twitter headquarters over the last few months. A source confirmed to CNBC that the talks have been taking place.
Shots doesn’t do anything groundbreaking or new. It’s a photo-sharing app that only uses the front-facing camera, so, yeah—it’s for selfies. You can’t leave comments, purportedly to curve bullying. Your follower count is invisible. Overall Shots is a bit of a vacuum, like the #selfie hashtag of Instagram stripped to the bare essentials.
And users seem to love it. The app has 4.5 out of 5 stars in the App Store, and reportedly has 3 million users, two-thirds of whom are women under 24.
Says one elated reviewer, “Shots is better than Instagram.” Such is the power of Biebs.