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.
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.