Those Gender-Swap Filters Sent Snapchat’s Downloads Through The Roof

Did you and your mates spend last month sending each other photos of yourselves decked out as babies, or morphed into the opposite gender using a Snapchat filter? Chances are you’re not alone.

New data appears to show the huge impact Snapchat‘s filters can have on its download rate, with monthly numbers tipping over 40 million in May following the introduction of the now infamous baby-face and gender-swap lenses.

Figures provided by market research firm Sensor Tower and provided to One Zero show daily downloads doubling after the introduction of the filters, with some days more than tripling. We’re talkin’ a rise from around 600,000 a day to some days around 2 million.

The huge numbers are surprising at first, but maybe not after considering the impact the two lenses had on internet culture in May.

Released in late May, the gender-swap filter flooded timelines across the world, prompting discussions on toxic masculinity, trans rights and identity, and how different genders are treated on dating apps.

Just today, a police officer in the US was caught trying to hook up with an underage teen after a 20-yr-old college student used the filter to trick him.

Less divisive but still with a substantial impact, the app’s baby-face lens was used on celebrities, flaunted by Kim Kardashian, and circled around social media for days.

The big increase in downloads is an impressive feat from a social network that has struggled to convince the rest of the world about its impact potential. Filters and lenses were pioneered by Snapchat before other rivals downright copied them into oblivion, using bigger investment and bigger audience to dwarf the app’s impact.

The effect of Snapchat’s latest hot lenses, if true, could come as good news to investors.

Of course, everyone who downloaded Snapchat in May to use the filters might have already deleted it by now.