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Huji Cam, 1888 apps give your Instagram photos a disposable camera look



Huji Cam 1888
Images taken on Huji Cam
(left), and 1888 (right).

Hartmans/Business Insider

  • Retro photo apps like Huji Cam and 1888 are gaining
    popularity on Instagram.
  • Both apps mimic the look of images taken on a
    disposable camera, automatically editing your photos to look
    over-saturated and grainy, complete with the date in the bottom
    right corner.
  • Huji Cam launched last October and has already been
    downloaded 22 million times, according to data from app
    analytics firm Sensor Tower.

If you’ve been on Instagram lately you may have noticed something
familiar about photos being posted to the platform — if you lived
through the ’90s, that is. 

Celebrities, influencers, and regular ‘grammers alike have begun
posting photos that have a certain aesthetic — a grainy,
over-saturated, and occasionally light-streaked look, much like
photos captured on a film camera.

And, if you look a little closer, you’ll notice neon orange
digits stating the date. 

These photos are the result of apps like Huji Cam and 1888, which try to mimic the look of
photos from a disposable camera. In a tongue-in-cheek nod to the
past, Huji Cam’s default date even says it’s still 1998. 

Huji Cam
To use both Huji Cam and
1888, you’ll have to turn your phone sideways like you’re holding
a disposable camera.


Huji Cam and 1888 work pretty similarly. Both apps require you
turn your phone horizontally, as if you’re holding a disposable
camera, and capture your image through an on-screen viewfinder.
After you take the picture, both apps show you a screen that says
“Developing,” as if your image is truly being sent to a dark

The final result is an image that has been edited to look more
vintage, complete with the date added to the corner, although you
can toggle that off on both apps, or change it to the current
date on Huji Cam. 

Both Huji Cam and 1888 are free to download, but to access the
full app — including the ability to import photos you’ve already
taken — you’ll have to pay $1 and $2, respectively.

These apps have caught on quickly — Huji Cam in particular. Since
Huji Cam launched last October, it’s been downloaded
approximately 22 million times, according to data from app
analytics firm Sensor Tower. The app has earned its creators — a
company called Manhole Inc. — about $570,000, Sensor Tower

1888 — which, according to Refinery 29, is
named after the year Kodak was founded — launched last week. It’s
founder told Refinery 29 that it already been download 20,000
times, although Sensor Tower data pegs the number of installs at
around 8,000. 

So why the sudden popularity? There are plenty of photo apps out
there that can do more than add the date and over-saturate your
photos, including apps like VSCO and even Instagram’s own editing

Sensor Tower cofounder Alex Malafeev says it
has a lot to do with nostalgia. 

“I’m definitely seeing a number of these retro camera workalike
apps on the stores going back a few years,” Malafeev said in an
email to Business Insider. “My gut is that they’re being driven
by Instagram users and sheer novelty.”

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