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PSA: Gradient, the viral celebrity look-alike app, is kind of a scam

If you’ve downloaded this, make sure you cancel your free trial.

Gradient matt e1571757109278
Image: KnowTechie

If you’ve spent any time on social media lately, you’ll know that one of the latest trending things is using an app called Gradient to compare your selfies (or any images) to celebrities. That’s fine if it’s harmless fun, but the latest trend for Gradient is users complaining about shady credit card charges.

Yikes, that’s not a good look at all.

That trending app that compares your selfies to celebrities is probably a big ole scam

Gradient app

Image: KnowTechie

Available for both Android and iOS and endorsed by the Kardashians about a week ago (via paid ads on their Instagram Stories), the app rocketed to the top of the app store with 8 million downloads. It seems that seeing celebrities being paid to see which other celebrities they look like is smart marketing.

What isn’t smart is the suckering of users into premium subscriptions. Gradient immediately charges after the three-day free trial ends. It’s also charging different amounts on Google Play ($3.99 per month, $19.99 per year), versus the App Store ($4.99 per week, $19.99 per month). That’s pretty sketchy.

  • Gradient compares your selfies to photos of celebrities, telling you who you “look like”
  • It comes with a “three-day free trial,” with users suckered into a $19.99 monthly subscription as soon as the trial ends
  • The app has grossed over $1.1 million so far in the App Store alone

Gradient’s tagline is “You look like,” but based on the pricing model alone, that tagline has a silent “a mug” at the end…

What do you think? Did you try the Gradient app? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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