Even though it is just a startup, Gfycat recently managed to raise a remarkable $10 million in funding for its user generated content platform, which basically allows users to create audio-less, looping animated images and video content. And now, the company is launching its first ever mobile app. The Gfycat mobile app is designed specifically to be used for iMessage. As such, it gives mobile users the ability to search for, send, and even create a do it yourself Gfycat loop, which can further be jazzed up through the use of emoji and witty captions.
GIF-centric mobile apps are nothing new on iMessage. As a matter of fact, there are already a few -- Giphy, Momento (which can automatically generate GIFs from images saved in the Camera Roll, and Tumblr (which allows users to produce their own GIFs, because it is Tumblr). Gfycat is looking to be a worthy addition to that list. It has already expanded its database to offer 25 million choices. Strictly speaking, what Gfycat offers are not actually GIFs, or the usual kind anyway. Gfycat’s content is compressed 20 times more efficiently than a normal GIF, which means they are capable of showing 16 million colors (standard GIFs are only capable of 256). This essentially means that what users are seeing on Gfycat are like looping ultra-colorful videos than GIFs.
As for Gfycat’s online platform, it mainly serves as a venue for users where they can browse the company’s catalog of content and have access to GIF uploading tools. To date, Gfycat’s website attracts more than 75 million visitors every month. Also, 1.5 billion user generated pieces are being viewed by people on a monthly basis. And the site ranks among the top 60 in the United States, according to data compiled by Alexa. For good measure, Gfycat’s creators also released an application program interface (API) that should let developers transform their own video content into Gfycat loops. On top of all that, Gfycat’s GIFs are also integrated unto a number of well known web publishers such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Certainly not bad for a startup.
As noted by Richard Rabbat, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Gfycat, most users so far are making selfie Gfycat loops, with 9 out of 10 people generating content using their handset’s front side camera. This is why Gfycat is ideal for iMessage, especially when most iOS users use this platform to share stuff by way of text message. And what better way to react to a friend’s job promotion than to send a real life looping exaggerated expression of a tears of joy emoji.
The Gfycat mobile app can be downloaded free of charge from iTunes.
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