Just.me Chases Instagram With Quickie Selfies Plus Filters To Mask Your #Me Shot

Instagram’s narcissistic obsession with selfies has been well-documented. Turns out it’s also contagious — at least, if you’re in the business of trying to build a rival social property, as Just.me, a U.S. mobile messaging startup that wants to become a one-stop-messaging-cum-social-sharing-platform, undoubtedly is.  In an update to its iOS app just.me has added a new selfie message type, to pander to the (similarly) self-absorbed. The move underlines how mobile messaging, photo-sharing and social networking continue their not-so-slow-motion collision.

Version 1.2 of the just.me iOS app now includes selfies as the first option when you hit compose message — above compose a (text) message — to speed up posting that awesome #me shot. Once you’ve taken your selfie, the app also offers Instagram-style filters (and a moveable blur effect)  so you can be liberated from the self-consciousness of posting something photorealistic. And so your latest selfie has a chance of standing out from the other 50 you’ve previously posted.

Selfies composed via just.me’s app interface are automatically hashtagged #selfie — “so that all users can browse through just.me’s public feed to see selfies from just.me’s global community of more than 150 countries”.  So, yeah, be sure you’re ready for your close-up before taking that quickie selfie and gifting it the Internet. Update: It is also possible to restrict who can see your selfies, as with other just.me posts, by sharing it only with yourself or with a specific friend or group of friends, rather than making it public.

Just.me founder Keith Teare, partner at incubator Archimedes Labs (and co-founder of TechCrunch*), explained that selfies were already being posted to just.me’s public feed — so they wanted to come up with an easier way to create and browse selfie content.  “Users now have a single place to post and see the best selfies from around the world. Given that users are increasingly using their mobile devices to be social – without the need to join a social network – it was a natural step for us to fully support and embrace the emergence of the selfie as a new way to communicate and message your thoughts, feelings and disposition with friends or the public,” he said in a statement.

Just.me’s app launched on iOS back in April, and pulled in some 250,000 users in its first three months — before also expanding onto the Android platform. Android app users will presumably also get their own quickie selfie feature in due course.

Just.me’s v1.2 app update also adds an iPad-optimised interface, with support for portrait and landscape orientation. Its Android app interface has been optimised for tablets too.

Update: TechCrunch has learned just.me has added a new investor to its roster. Indian businessman Ness Wadia has made a “small investment”, according to a source familiar with the matter, in the sub-$1 million range.

Prior to this latest investment, just.me had raised a total of $2.75 million, in its seed and Series A rounds, according to CrunchBase.

*Disclosure: In addition to TC co-founder Teare himself being involved, just.me has raised funding from (among others) CrunchFund — which is of course tied up with TechCrunch in several ways, including the fact that our parent company AOL is an investor.