Home / Latest News / Tech / Cara App For Artists Grew From 40K To 650K In One Week: Here’s How

Cara App For Artists Grew From 40K To 650K In One Week: Here’s How


image ofCara App

Artists are increasingly dissatisfied with Meta’s AI policies, prompting a significant shift to Cara, an artist-run, anti-AI social platform. In just one week, Cara’s user base skyrocketed from 40,000 to 650,000, propelling it to the top of the App Store charts. This surge underscores the rising popularity of Cara as a premier art platform for artists and photographers alike.

Meta’s use of public posts to train its generative AI systems, with opt-out options only available to European users protected by GDPR laws, has pushed artists to their breaking point. Jingna Zhang, a renowned photographer and founder of Cara, believes that Meta’s aggressive AI policies and the friction involved in opting out have fueled artists’ frustration.

Cara, accessible via web and mobile apps, combines features of Instagram and X, tailored specifically for artists. This innovative Cara art social media platform allows users to host portfolios and post updates without fearing their work will be used for AI training. Zhang, who has a history of advocating for artists, recently won a court case in Luxembourg over a painter copying her work without consent. She is also involved in lawsuits against Google and AI companies for using artists’ work without permission.

“Words can’t describe how dehumanizing it is to see my name used 20,000+ times in MidJourney,” Zhang expressed on Instagram. “My life’s work and who I am—reduced to meaningless fodder for a commercial image slot machine.”

Cara partners with the University of Chicago’s Glaze project to protect artists from having their work scraped for AI. Glaze provides an additional layer of security by altering digital artworks to prevent unauthorized use, reinforcing Cara as a safe and supportive space for artists.

Zhang’s experience with AI dates back to Google’s AlphaGo defeating Go champion Lee Sedol, which influenced her thinking on AI’s impact on her career. This foresight has helped her create an artist-friendly social network, making Cara a leading app for artists and photographers.

Cara’s rapid growth has not been without challenges. Founded in late 2022 and fully bootstrapped, the platform relies heavily on volunteer engineering support. The sudden influx of users led to a shocking $96,280 bill from Vercel, a web hosting company, for the last week. Vercel’s vice president of product, Lee Robinson, offered to help Zhang manage the platform’s efficiency, but the situation remains unresolved.

Despite these challenges, Zhang remains committed to her vision of a community where artists can share their work without exploitation. She has not sought venture funding, preferring to maintain control and focus on artists’ interests. Cara’s future may be uncertain, but Zhang’s dedication to protecting and supporting artists continues to drive the platform’s growth, making Cara a cornerstone in the art social media landscape.

Scroll to Top