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New York startup Convies enters the social space with its private video messaging app

Social media man­agers with their anten­nae tuned to the social grapevine will be aware that Vine has just expand­ed into pri­vate video mes­sag­ing; but it’s got a new and poten­tial­ly bet­ter com­peti­tor in the form of New York-based “Con­vies”, a video chat app which lets users share short video mes­sages pri­vate­ly with a few friends or on broad­er net­works like Twit­ter and Facebook.

A tai­lor-made app

The more skep­ti­cal social media manger may well be think­ing that, by launch­ing first, Vine’s new offer­ing has gained an advan­tage. But Con­vies founder Michael Loen­ngren seems unper­turbed: he makes the can­ny obser­va­tion that when estab­lished apps known for a par­tic­u­lar kind of expe­ri­ence (like Insta­gram for video and pho­tos and Vine for pub­lic videos) try to extend into new areas, they can fall flat.

As he puts it:

“Vine is a social appli­ca­tion that also intro­duced send­ing direct mes­sages,” he explains. “Con­vies is more of a chat appli­ca­tion – like a What­sApp or Line-like appli­ca­tion – that’s com­plete­ly tai­lored for the native video experience.”

Loen­ngren was approached by Lerer Ven­tures dur­ing his role at an invest­ment bank in Japan. They’d caught wind of a side project he was devel­op­ing – a mobile video app called “Time­Freeze” – and per­suad­ed him to relo­cate to New York to come and work on new mobile mes­sag­ing innovations.

Con­vies’ offerings

Cut­ting a long sto­ry short, Con­vies was the out­come of Loenngren’s New York endeav­ors. Our skep­ti­cal social media man­ag­er may now be get­ting a lit­tle more inter­est­ed. What does it offer?

Con­vies lets users edit the speed of their video mes­sage with the drag of a fin­ger across an onscreen slid­er bar before send­ing it. And there’s more: unlike gen­er­al pur­pose mes­sag­ing apps, Con­vies focus­es on instant­ly playable native videos and it allows users to either play back a series of them in their chat streams or view them as one sin­gle video.

It also lets users “lock” their video (which can be up to 6 sec­onds) to block shar­ing, or release it pub­licly, like the tra­di­tion­al Vine offer­ing. A quick-shar­ing fea­ture lets users rapid­ly send their cre­ations to Con­vies’ own pub­lic net­work or to ser­vices like What­sApp, Twit­ter and Facebook.

It’s now live on iOS with an Android ver­sion in the pipeline.

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