People are posting AI-generated yearbook pictures with this viral app

People are leaning into childhood nostalgia and creating school yearbook photos thanks to the newest AI-powered social media trend. Epik, a free-to-download photo editing app, offers a ’90s-style yearbook photo edit that has gone viral on Instagram and TikTok. 

The trend has become so popular that Epik is currently the top trending free app in the App Store. It’s free to download, but you have to pay to generate your own ’90s-inspired yearbook photos. 

Here’s how to make your own, and how it worked when I created yearbook photos of Todd Haselton, deputy technology editor at CNBC.

How to create AI-generated yearbook photos with Epik

You’ll see the AI Yearbook option after you open the Epik app and a disclaimer that says “AI results may not always be satisfactory.” And some of them aren’t. Several pictures didn’t look like Todd at all.

You’ll choose between two paid tiers based on the app’s wait times: The standard tier costs $5.99 and will generate photos within 24 hours, and the express tier costs $9.99 and will generate photos within two hours. As of Thursday, the standard tier was on sale for $3.99 and express was $5.99. 

Both tiers generate 60 yearbook pictures using 8-12 photos the user uploads. The pictures are separated into categories, such as “best dressed” and “most athletic.”

The app says you can’t upload photos of children and that anything that’s uploaded is deleted from the app’s servers after it generates the yearbook pictures.

Some people are experiencing delayed wait times to use the service, which the app says is due to a “rapid increase in users.” The app is prompting some to try at a later time. I waited about an hour.

I uploaded eight images, including this sample:

Todd Haselton

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Here’s what it generated.

Todd with a science award:

Todd winning a science award, generated by AI

Todd as best dressed:

Todd in a jacket, generated by AI

Todd as a baseball player:

Todd as a baseball player, generated by AI

Todd channeling a DJ:

Todd as a guitar player:

Rockin’ Todd, generated by AI

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