Startup News

3 Minutes with Cinemagram: GIF Culture, Brand Partnerships & Beyond

August 27, 2012

Cinemagram is a wildly popular iOS app that allows users to easily turn content captured by a mobile device into beautiful cinemagraphs — all in a matter of seconds. The startup amassed 1 million users in less than six weeks after launching as a free app earlier this year. Today, Cinemagram has more than 2 million users. We recently featured the company as part of our August Startup Outlook report.

We talked to Andre Charoo, Head of Business Development at Cinemagram, about why the startup was founded, why users are loving cines so much and why marketers will want to pay attention to its brand new Remix feature for brands.

What is the challenge statement from which Cinemagram was started?

Cinemagraphs – defined as “still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs” – are painful to create. We were shocked to learn that photographers were spending hours in PhotoShop trying to create these moving images, so we decided to make an app that could do it in seconds.

Cinemagrams represent a new medium – a hybrid between photography and videography that is able to capture real life in a completely new and unique way. Cinemagraphs bring out the essence of an image and tell a story about the photos at the same time. Our goal is to be the platform where all of this new media type is submitted.

It’s been amazing to watch GIFs ascend to massive popularity over the past few years. Why do you think so many people are drawn to this type of short form media?

For the first time, anyone can create a moving photo (both emotionally and literally) within seconds from their mobile phone. At Cinemagram, we have recreated a way for video to be consumed and created on mobile devices in a format that’s perfect for quick mobile consumption.

Cine via KawzeClothing
Creativity now stems beyond a photo and video. Prior to Cinemagram, the world was split between photos and videos, especially in terms of creativity. Today, enter Cinemagram — a new medium that takes creativity to another level.

With brands upping their content game, where do you see the opportunity for marketers interested in Cinemagram?

Cinemagram is a great tool for brands and marketers to further engage with their fan base through original content. We’re seeing users point their iPhones at their TVs and computer screens wanting to create content from their favorite brands, TV shows, movies, music videos and more. So, we figured, why not partner with brands to provide this content directly to their fan base to create cines (pronounced “cinnies”) from them?

We launched this very feature, called Remix, last week. Through Remix, users can access short video clips from partner publishers that can be easily “remixed” and edited. Remix is now in beta trials with select partners including Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Linkin Park, Neon Trees and Pink.