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Happy Birthday, Camera+!

by John Casasanta
June 7, 201244 comments

Happy Birthday, Camera+!

It was two years ago today that we launched Camera+ 1.0. Coincidentally, we’ve sold our 8 millionth copy of Camera+ as of today.

Past, present, and future

The past two years have been been a pretty wild ride with plenty of ups and downs, both internally and externally. Through thick and thin, we’ve managed to grow the development team to 17 people now and we have several “sub-teams” focusing on particular areas of the app.

Some of these areas are pretty substantial and you’ll all be seeing the results of one sub-team’s work in the next few weeks. I’m not going to spoil the surprise but I’ll just say that the next major release of Camera+ has been in the works for a very long time and it’s going to make many of you very happy.

In addition to this upcoming release, which we’ve code-named “Darkroom”, we currently have four other major areas that the various sub-teams are focusing on. In the coming months, you’ll be seeing some pretty awesome things that we’ve all been slaving over.

Funny money

In the past two years, we’ve been approached by several companies that’ve wanted to acquire us. It started with Adobe, then went to Zynga (for The Heist, not really for Camera+), then Google. And most recently, Twitter.

In addition, we were very close to closing our first round of funding recently. We ultimately didn’t like the direction the investors were trying to push us in so we decided to not do it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… fuck the VCs!

We greatly value our independence and in all cases, we’ve fended the suitors off and chosen to remain independent. Fiercely independent. We have a ton of things we want to accomplish here and working for some conglomerate or having bean-counting investors breathing down our necks simply isn’t the way for us to achieve them.

The proposed Facebook acquisition of Instagram fueled a lot of ridiculousness in the industry and the the number of zeroes that’ve come-up in these negotiations has been insane. These offers have been tempting… extremely tempting in some particular cases. Now I know how that old-timey chap felt with the snake and the apple or whatever.

Will the failure of the Facebook IPO change the climate here going forward? Possibly. But it doesn’t matter… we didn’t build this company with the intention to flip it. We’re in it for the long-haul and we’re committed to building a real business that makes great apps, not on selling-out. We’re doing more than fine on our own and we’ll continue to do do so on our own. Again, fiercely independent.

So that’s where we’re at. I want to assure you that we’re 100% dedicated to trying to make Camera+ the best and coolest app on the planet for you.

Now grab a glass of champagne and join us in celebrating two truly wonderful years of Camera+. And here’s to many, many more!

tap tap tap is a leading iPhone and iPad app developer and publisher.

We’ve been creating top-notch apps since the App Store first opened. Our apps are used by literally tens of millions of people in all corners of the world. A few of our favorite and most popular apps we’ve created are:

Who linked to this


  1. Lena
    12:18pm, June 7, 2012

    Your app is the photoapp that I use the most and everyday. I love it so thank you.

  2. KansasLoveBird
    12:28pm, June 7, 2012

    Experimenting with Camera+ is fun. I’ve even started using my iphone on photoshoots because of it. Fun!!

  3. Inappropriate Comment
    1:31pm, June 7, 2012

    That’s all nice and jolly but since you mentioned it, please make your midgets slave a little harder, will you? It’s been a LONG damn time since anything useful came to Camera+. The previous ‘major release’ version was a bunch of crap. Visible menubar is not a feature. Notifications is not a feature. We want things like exposure, sharpness, midtone control. We want to apply more than one filter at one go. Heck we want new filters and are even willing to pay for in-app purchases! But please make these happen. You’ve set very high hopes and standards for yourselves: please live up to them! All the best and congratulations.

  4. Drake Shipway
    1:41pm, June 7, 2012

    Camera+ replaced the default camera app on my iPhone long ago. Keep up the great work and happy Birthday!

  5. Sviz
    1:44pm, June 7, 2012

    Congratulation for the sales, but you are unfortunately abandoning your older apps and their customers. For instance, it wouldn’t take much time to update Convert for fast-app switching, but you haven’t done it yet. This is really disappointing. Please feel free to answer, either here or on my email.

  6. Karoly Nyisztor
    2:58pm, June 7, 2012

    Congrats, guys, you really deserved this success!

  7. Eytan
    3:26pm, June 7, 2012

    Awesome and congrats! It has replaced my camera for all picture taking for years now, although I still need the built in camera for video….

  8. Stef
    5:23pm, June 7, 2012

    Camera+ is my *FAVORITE* camera app! I LOVE your enhancements over the past two years. Happy Birthday!

    Would totally LOVE it even more if you added video support!! (hint, hint)

  9. Art
    6:24pm, June 7, 2012

    I’m a massive fan of Camera+. Had it on all my iPhones, had it on my iPad for photo editing even while the resolution isn’t supported.

    I implore you… Write one for Android!

  10. MJ
    6:38pm, June 7, 2012

    Congratulations on the success of this marvelous app! Looking forward to more cool stuff with the updates.

  11. Biztag
    2:08am, June 8, 2012

    Awesome APP, Happy 2yr…. :)

  12. iamjose
    3:28am, June 8, 2012

    Could we had sharing to or tumblr?

    Love your app!

  13. jake
    5:06am, June 8, 2012

    just wanted to take a minute and give you a ++ on the “fuck the VCs!!!” content. great job you and your team have done sans vulture capital.

    we operate the same way at our shop: no VCs.

  14. Roman Maximo
    5:07am, June 8, 2012

    Awesome work and great speech!! Congratulations John! I´ve bought your app 10 minutes ago and enjoy it!

  15. Neil
    7:28am, June 8, 2012

    Kudos! I am so glad that you are able to remain independent. I have been fortunate enough to remain independent and managed to survive through some tough times. You are absolutely right that you learn a lot from the experience of building and running a company that I don’t think many people can understand if they are not in it for the long haul. We have some war stories in common, I bet. There is one VC who I respect so if you do get approached by them, I am sure you will listen - Andressen/Horowitz. They prefer founders to be running businesses - which I really like.

  16. Lee
    8:44am, June 8, 2012

    “…we didn’t build this company with the intention to flip it. We’re in it for the long-haul and we’re committed to building a real business that makes great apps, not on selling-out.”

    If you can also tell us that you also don’t outsource, then you have officially become the role model for my new self-starter.

  17. Rory
    9:28am, June 8, 2012

    Congrats to my favourite Camera App. Do you have a place to add feature requests?

  18. Guy Kawasaki
    9:38am, June 8, 2012

    Loved this post. I hope you never need venture capital and continue to do things your way!

  19. Kevin Cullis
    10:44am, June 8, 2012

    Kudos and Congrats!! Having read the book “Small Giant” means you do not have to go the VC or IPO route, you CAN keep it small and GREAT!! Way to go guys.

  20. Mojo-Jojo
    12:32pm, June 8, 2012

    Happy birthday Camera+ for thank for making my digital camera obsolete!

  21. Guillermo
    1:24pm, June 8, 2012

    Very important article for all the entrepreneurs, vc are not always the answer and if you keep focus you will succeed. Im not agree when you say that Facebook IPO failed, there is no failure in IPO, maybe some people lost money now but the person who bought fb shares is not expecting any return now

  22. Eric
    4:06pm, June 8, 2012

    Just bought the app, have to check it out now. I agree that there’s a lot of companies out there just living off VC cash that will probably never have any real earning potential. In a way it distorts the market with a bunch of companies that never have and never will be viable companies on their own without being pumped up with VC 1:500 cash. On the other hand, I would imagine that there are still a few ‘honest’ VC stories out there. Meaning where the company legitimately needs funds to further the business AND where the IPO is used to gain access to public funding to grow the business even more. As opposed to now it seems a lot of IPOs are done solely to make an illiquid investment by equity holders into a fully liquid and realized gain position. Just look at the LBO funds and some hedge funds that never really needed access to public equity in the first place, they were doing just fine with 10, 20, or 50 million minimum investments to begin with. It just seems that post-IPO their life’s work went from the private shares in the company to nothing but liquid cash. I’m sure at some point we’ll see IPO’s of the big VC funds themselves where the guys who started it realize they want to flip their own company into purely liquid common shares as well. In other words, a lot of the IPO end up just being liquidity plays by the investors rather than a means to raise large amounts of capital.

  23. Mike Locke
    4:49pm, June 8, 2012

    Awesome post!…I love Camera+. In fact, if you guys had a desktop version of this app, I’d gladly pay $30 bucks for it. Please create a desktop version.

  24. Joseph
    6:14pm, June 8, 2012

    nice job… blow up the bridge with all VCs. Not only the cheesy ones you have been turned off by, but also the good VCs who don’t at all have the attitude you describe above. Yeah, stay indie, stay small, stay underfunded and starved for capital.

  25. Andy Church
    6:39pm, June 8, 2012

    Congrats on your funding model and apps. Went through 3 VC experienced that all end with ruthless endings. All the power to you.

  26. abhinav
    10:07pm, June 8, 2012

    great. keep it up. your commitment to keep camera+ free is great. Inspiring and motivating.

  27. Tom Cox
    2:38am, June 9, 2012

    You are my hero. Thanks for helping me reaffirm my similar decision.

  28. paulo d
    7:17am, June 9, 2012

    Leadership void. No wonder you’re still independent with that attitude. Collaborate, partner, invest or die.

  29. Mikey Sly
    7:34am, June 9, 2012

    Happy birthday Camera+! Same birthday as me! Best photo app on the market, all it needs is video support and it’ll be perfect!

  30. Aaron
    2:19pm, June 10, 2012


    Dude this is a dream come true, take home 100 mil and enjoy doing anything you like for the rest of your life ;)

    I’m sure its fun to be on the ‘got acquired by big-ass company’ side.

  31. Robb
    12:15am, June 17, 2012

    Please add direct AirPrint from the app, and allow for “print correction”, since some effects do not reproduce well on print and need an in-app behind the scenes “tone down”. Second the “apply more than one filter” comment, and also would love vignette control, clarity slider, film grain option, “vibrance” slider and monochrome “filters” on red, yellow and green. Also, grad filters would be awesome for landscapes.

  32. Robb
    12:17am, June 17, 2012

    Oh, and last idea, could you add a slow shutter option, with multi shot blend and strobe flash - pretty cool motion shot opportunities missed.

  33. Simon H
    8:35am, July 2, 2012

    Ever since I was introduced to Camera+ it has completely changed my view of photography. I’m now taking photos when I wouldn’t have previously, and shared Camera+ with many friends and colleagues. Loving your work so far, I look forward to future developments! :-)

  34. Rob Alfieri
    3:53pm, July 19, 2012

    Hoping for integration with Google+ SOON!

  35. Paul
    7:49am, July 20, 2012

    Whoa… sexually-laden advertising. Your main video on the site for the app has the makings of a trailer for some R-rated movie.

    Why do all feel compelled to, once again, and in 2012, feature a model-photograph showing off her ample cleavage?

    Did the women’s movement and women’s rights mean nothing to you?

    Would you really want your sister or daughter displaying her “wares” that way?

    To put this in other gender terms— would you really feel right about advertising an app with some hunk going shirtless?

    No, didn’t think so.

    Time to clean up your act—and we won’t be buying your app any time soon!

  36. Teri
    6:38am, July 30, 2012

    Absolutely loved this app until 4 days ago, when whilst using the ‘+’ button to move an image from the camera roll it crashed. The app is now stuck, permantly ‘loading’ in lightbox and is consequently completely useless.

    I love the app so much I am willing to delete it from my phone and re-purchase it in the hope of fixing the glitch, but I have unsaved photos that I really would rather not lose if I can help it.

    No reply from ‘Support’ despite several requests since the problem occured, so help from ANYONE who might happen to read this would be very much appreciated.

  37. Oceanluvr
    4:59am, August 4, 2012

    Great app and i can’t tell you how refreshing and honest your comments about the VC vultures are. Congrats on building a good business, great apps, and having the courage to see past the easy money they tempt entrepreneurs with. I have been there and done that. Never again!

  38. Harry
    7:05pm, August 31, 2012

    Please please please release a version for Andriod too :)

  39. kaffy
    7:15am, September 3, 2012

    after switching to android, the most disappointing thing to me is no good camera app in the market, so far I’d tried many, I really appreciate the speed and UI design of camera+. And since iPhone 5 may be have a larger screen, I think camera + is my main reason to get back to iPhone.

  40. dylon
    8:57pm, September 24, 2012

    this is the only reason i’m still on the iphone, please do one for Android!!!!

  41. Kenisha
    11:06am, September 25, 2012

    Are we going to get a fix for iOS6? When I try to save from the Lightbox the app closes down. :(

  42. shawn
    12:36pm, September 29, 2012

    Yes, fix for iOS 6 please. When I try to put effect ‘tailfins’ it shuts down. Also, how about the ability to put the same edits on multiple photos!!

  43. Beta
    5:04pm, October 26, 2012

    app keeps crashing!
    please fix

  44. rhonda wiggins
    10:48am, January 25, 2013

    I would like to try it

the comments are now closed