Blame it on our narcissism or our latent desire to be Ansel Adams, but modern humans are crazy for tools that help them document their lives in pictures. But while still images hold incredible appeal, as Instagram’s 130 million active users would surely attest, the latest must-have apps focus on the ability to film and edit extremely short videos.
Twitter-owned Vine, anecdotally the most popular of these micro-video apps, launched just seven months ago, and already has 40 million users, according to a tweet yesterday from @vineapp. And Instagram jumped on the moving-picture bandwagon with the release of a video feature in June.
The point is, micro-videos are hot. Now comes the Grand Rapids, MI-based micro-blogging service One Second Epic, which will relaunch next month with an Events button that allows users to stitch multiple videos together to tell a bigger story. Co-founder Joe Johnston imagines birthdays, parties, and weddings will be One Second Epic’s bread and butter in the future.
Similar to Vine and Instragram Video, One Second Epic allows users to film five-second videos. One Second Epic will collect event-specific videos and all attendees will be able to view them. The moderators of the event will then be able to pick their favorite submissions and use them to piece together a video that captures the occasion from start to finish. Johnston says the Epic Events app will have the ability to “geo-fence” users, or block users outside of a certain radius from submitting, to lessen the possibility of random submissions. And users will be able to select from an hour’s worth of submissions or a week’s worth, depending on the event.
Johnston admits the video-stitching feature is still a bit of experiment, but the company will test it live for the first time at ArtPrize, a weeklong city-wide art competition in Grand Rapids that takes place in September.
Johnston says the company was founded a year ago, before Vine was on the market, and the team considered the popularity of Vine to be a major validation of their product. With the new events feature, he says, “We’re hoping to get in sooner than Vine or Instagram, before they have the ability to [stitch videos together.] We think it could be something really big if we get traction.”
Johnston and his two co-founders, Eric Loehfelm and Christian Saylor, still have day jobs at the Grand Rapids software company Universal Mind. So far, One Second Epic’s sole investor has been Start Garden, the $15 million fund spearheaded by Rick DeVos, the grandson of Amway cofounder Richard DeVos. Start Garden awards money to companies in increments after they’ve proved they’ve put previous awards to productive use. So far, One Second Epic has received a total of $75,000 from Start Garden in three installments.
If all goes well at Art Prize, another Rick DeVos-backed project, Johnston says he and his co-founders will get to work on an Android version of the app.
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