November 6, 2015
Pull out your phone and take a look at your apps. How many of them are used to communicate with other people in some form? You’ve got your typical text messages, probably a messenger like Facebook or Whatsapp, for video Skype or Google Hangouts, for the younger crowd Whisper or YikYak, and probably Snapchat thrown in there too. After all, phones were initially designed to communicate, and the technology behind them only makes it easier and with new methods.
Vidku, like other video messenger apps, is designed so that you can communicate with everyone. Not just your friends, parents, colleagues, significant others, or even someone you’re… flirting with; everyone. The reason it’s necessary to differentiate this point is due to Vidku’s feature set, which makes it incredibly easy to have absolutely control over who sees what regardless of when a video was created or sent. Through either group options or sending videos to selected friends, your short videos always are under your control. Best of all, there is unlimited storage and the videos stick around as long as you choose.
“You can share and unshare private videos with friends and groups. it’s all about control,” said Vidku’s co-founder and Chief Design Officer Charlie Miller. “At any point you can pull back the video at any moment.”
Ever wish you could retract those awkward snaps to your ex? How about pulling back the randomly populated gif on the company Slack channel? Drink too much and tweet from the company handle? Control of information is a huge concern to those in the digital space, which is why Vidku puts so much focus on retaining it. Outside of control, the app is easy to use, so much so that it was designed with families in mind.
“I was a professor at the University of Minnesota, am the father of two kids, have ridiculous friends I go out and party with, I can share with friends without overlap, and at the end of the day I can pull back the video,” said Miller.
Leslie, Vidku co-founder and CEO mirrored Miller’s response, “we provide an opportunity for someone to share the different parts of themselves with those interested in those areas.”
An example of this can be seen on Facebook. Rarely will anyone spend the time to create filters and groups for who will see what you post, but for Vidku it’s a necessary component. After having his kids, Miller wanted a way to share videos of his kids, but didn’t want to blast it out to everyone. And if you’re like me, filtering and segmenting is incredibly important. For those in the millennial age group, not a day goes by where at least one person complains about the over abundance of baby photos, and Vidku may have inadvertently solved that problem.
Two weeks after the launch of the app, more than 350,000 videos were shared. Some due in part to their zombie crawl event leading up to Halloween. Although the app is designed with a narrow reach in mind, much like Snapchat they’ve found users broadcasting their name for a wider reach. And all though you can’t turn your head into a pumpkin, the app has plenty of filters to choose from and allows you to scroll frame by frame on every video.
Like Vine or Twitter video, there is a short time span of 17 seconds each. However, they are easier to retrieve, especially in groups, unlike the million miles of scrolling you would have to go through on the other platforms.
Overall I prefer the Vidku experience to Snapchat. It also doesn’t hurt that none of the strange social stigmas are attached to it, even if Snapchat is worth $15B.
In February of this year Vidku raised $17M in a Series A round by two investors.
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