The article describes the current phenomenon, a new trend on the Internet that has a huge reach on various social platforms in the form of over 73 million animations already produced. Learn the story of MyHeritage and learn how the introduction of innovative functionality with social-viral potential to the mobile application can make the number of its downloads increase by several hundred per cent within a month.

Mobile applications are digital products that many specialists, project teams, or “Zuckerbergs” from the neighbourhood couldn’t muddle through. Their creation is laborious and expensive, both financially and time-wise. It requires the employment of a minimum of a few specialists for a period of several (if not several dozen) months. And it doesn’t stop there. The mobile application must be constantly developed, adapted not only to new technological requirements but also to lifestyle trends. Anyone who does not understand this – fails.

It began in an ordinary room.

The team that is well aware of the above-mentioned dependency is the creators of the MyHeritage application, a tool (originally) used to create a family tree. The organization itself was established in 2003. It was started by Gilad Japhet in his guest room. Motivated at the time by the lack of convenient tools for creating an ancestor census, Japhet launched a website that has so far received a total of $49 million from investors, incl. Bessemer Venture Partners (LinkedIn and Pinterest investors) and Accel Partners (Facebook investors). The story of the creation of MyHeritage and the stages of development of this organization are very interesting and I recommend them especially to those of you who have their own startup launch in mind.

From December 2011 to early March 2021, the MyHeritage mobile app was a tool to support the family tree creation process. It allowed for the creation of ancestor profiles and simple retouching of old family photos. Despite the very extensive database of historical data and the several billion user profiles around the world, the MyHeritage app was discovered mainly by those who set themselves the goal of creating a family tree.

There goes viral.

The label of the boring application for a home historian changed so quickly, similarly to ripping off the Band-Aid. In early March 2021, MyHeritage launched the Deep Nostalgia module in its application, which – as you probably already know – makes the character in the selected photo come to life. To date, users have created over 73 million animations presenting animated characters using this module. The Deep Nostalgia effect is so surprising that it has become a new trend on TikTok (those from social marketing know that it’s not easy). Within a month, the internet was flooded with animated faces from old, until recently static, photos.

73 million animations have been created.

Is 73 million animations created within a month a lot? It depends. Deep Nostalgia looks weak with its 500 million InstaStories created each month by Instagram users. However, considering the fact that the MyHeritage app, which is dedicated to meeting niche needs, won the hearts of TikTokers in less than a month, I consider it a great achievement. More than one marketing shark from LinkedIn could dream of a similar success of its campaign in the TikTok environment.

Currently, animating images of ancestors on MyHeritage by the internet community is moving towards bringing the faces of famous historical figures such as Gandhi and Adolf Hitler to life. The fascination with this functionality will probably last some time and after the stage of using it to produce memes, it will go on the shelf next to the famous FaceApp, which, among other things, has made our image old. In two or three months it will become a standard in most applications that have a face retouch module in them. This process has already started. The first app outside of MyHeritage to feature a photo revival feature has already appeared in ads on InstaStories. It’s called ArtShot and it will be available in the iOS store on April 2. It took a little bit more than a month to implement the Photo Reviving feature in ArtShot since MyHeritage first made this feature available to the world. That’s fast.

Technological creativity pays off. 

The story of MyHeritage already had some interesting twists, but the one described above from March this year will undoubtedly be one of the biggest ones in the sphere of image building and gaining new users of the application in a very short time. A well-thought-out and well-planned function with viral-social potential may turn out to be a much better investment than pumping funds into standard marketing campaigns. Of course, in most cases, one does not exclude the other, but MyHeritage has proved with the Deep Nostalgia module that nowadays you can still conquer the internet in a month or less.

Currently, at The Humans, we are working on the mechanics, logic, and implementation of a module that, among other main functions of the application, will perform a viral and social function for one of our clients. In the last months of our process, the history of MyHeritage served us as a very interesting phenomenon of the processes and trends that accompany the implementation of Deep Nostalgia.