This company wants to pay you for the selfies you take

by Sam Dewey
September 22, 2015


What if you could earn a buck or two — or 20 — just for taking selfies?

It might sound like the hopeful dream of some millennial you might know, but that’s exactly what one Chicago startup is trying to do.

Meet Pay Your Selfie, a free app available on both iOS and Android that pays consumers for the selfies they take.

“There are 93 million selfies taken everyday,” said Pay Your Selfie CEO Michelle Smyth. “We want to bring brands and consumers together — using selfies as the medium.”


When users log in to the app, they’re greeted with a number of tasks from brands who want to pay people to take selfies with their products. Once users have taken enough selfies to rack up at least $20 dollars worth of images, they can cash out and receive a check in the mail or donate to charity.

Images can be worth as much as $1 a piece.

“That’s a win for consumers, but it’s also a win for brands,” Smyth said, who added that the app doubles as a performance-based, mobile marketing tool.

Every image contains vital information about consumers that brands can analyze to use in later campaigns, she said. Selfies can tell brands where and when and with whom people most often use their product. And with information collected from a user’s profile, companies also have access to demographics like age, birthdate, and gender that paint the clearest picture of their product in use.  

In addition to consumer insights, Smyth said brands can also gain visibility and engagement.

According Smyth, there are plenty of social platforms that already make money off images (and the stories they tell) when they’re shared on social media. With Pay Your Selfie, selfie-takers are brought back into that equation.

“This is a chance to democratize the opportunity for consumers to make a buck on their images, too,” she said.

The three-person team — including Smyth’s childhood friend and co-founder Kristen Holman — has bootstrapped up to this point, but Smyth said they’re currently undergoing seed stage funding efforts.

At the end of the day, Smyth said one of their primary goals is to keep things entertaining for their users.

“This is a fun thing for people to do — and it has cash value. We want to have people be able to capitalize on not just the social currency of their selfies, but turn that into real currency as well.”

Have a tip for us or know of a company that deserves coverage? Email us via [email protected]

Jobs at Pay Your Selfie

Chicago startup guides

Best Companies to Work for in Chicago
Coolest Offices in Chicago Tech
Best Perks at Chicago Tech Companies
Women in Chicago Tech