In October 2012 Givit released a new iPhone app that put a new spin on mobile videos, letting users create highlight reels on their smartphone. The company also announced $2.5 million in funding at the time to support the new app, which it launched on stage at the DEMO conference. Today Givit is debuting an update to its iPhone app, focusing on adding in social features and targeting new interest groups like musicians. The updates are timed with the start of the SXSW conference, which will see thousands of bands and artists converge in Austin, TX.
The San Diego-based company was previously focused on helping people upload, host, and share videos online, and pivoted in October to focus on mobile video creation, letting users film video, and pull out specific sections into highlight reels. Now that it’s targeting iPhone users who are looking to create highlight reels and share them socially, the company has also added more social features in this update, letting users create profiles, follow other users, view trending videos, and share their videos publicly.
Users can still keep their videos private if they want, and they already had the ability to share videos to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Each user gets 5 GB of cloud storage for their videos, and can upgrade to a premium 100 GB account for $29.99 per year, though the average user likely doesn’t need more than the free account storage.
CEO and founder Greg Kostello said the social features were based on feedback from users, and is an attempt to create more community around the app. While Kostello declined to share any usage or download numbers, he said the app is often used to film sporting events, and since users can add their own music to go along with their videos, by musicians. Kostello has a background in music and was the EVP of engineering at MP3.com, and he’s now trying to encourage musicians to use the app to create music videos, or to let fans create their own music videos for their favorite artists.
The company has formed a partnership with indie music crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic, and held a contest to send one of their musicians to SXSW. As part of the partnership Kostello said they could potentially add some of the artists’ songs into the app’s library of licensed music, and though there are no features on the app specifically tailored to musicians, it’s a group they’re looking to target.
“We’re really looking to encourage musicians to use Givit to promote themselves, and to encourage their fans to use it to promote the band,” Kostello said in an interview.
Social video is a growing space, with apps like Keek, Viddy, and now Twitter’s Vine looking to help users share their mobile videos. Those apps all have a limit on video length though, unlike Givit, and they don’t have a focus on editing together several video clips. There are also several apps focused on sharing videos of live concerts, from crowdsourcing app CrowdSync, to Mark Cuban-backed Switchcam, which lets users create multi-angle, multi-camera videos of events like concerts and weddings, to Streamweaver, which lets several users film the same event from different angles and edit the footage together.
“You don’t have a market until you have a competitor, so having [Vine] in the market has been great for us,” Kostello said about the much-publicized launch of Vine. “We’ve definitely seen a pickup in usage since Vine came out.”
While Givit is focusing on musicians as well as regular users who want to share highlights from parties, sporting events, or any other video they shoot on their mobile phone, its functionality isn’t specifically targeted to bands, so whether they’ll use it to create their music videos remains to be seen. Partnering with PledgeMusic and launching updates for SXSW will be a good way to test the waters, and to see if Givit can win over bands and music fans who are looking to easily create videos to accompany their songs.