The appetite for apps focused on new ways to share, augment or combine photos and video seems almost endless. Among the latest to draw a rapidly growing following is Cinemagram, whose iPhone app has attracted more than 2 million users since launching six months ago.
Users create Cinemagrams by taking a short video, selecting a still image from the clip, and then defining a specific area of the image to animate. The content is saved as a GIF file that can be shared like a photo, but appears to be animated when viewed in the app or online. Cinemagram also offers Instagram-like vintage filters, sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, a search function, a “popular” page and other features.
The hybrid photo-video format essentially simplifies the process of creating "cinemagraphs" -- photos in which a minor animated movement happens over and over -- that emerged from the New York fashion photography world. Cinemagram now aims to be the platform for all activity around these creations it calls cines (pronounced “cinnies.”)
Already, marketers are looking to capitalize on the rising popularity and artsy cachet of Cinemagram as they have with other visually oriented apps, like Instagram, SocialCam and Pinterest.
Last week, the company launched a “Remix” feature in beta that allows users to access video clips that they can edit to create their cines. The initial group of brands supplying the clips includes Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Linkin Park, Neon Trees and Pink.
Sony, for instance, is using Cinemagram to promote the Sept. 14 release of “Resident Evil 6,” while Pink is promoting her upcoming album, “The Truth About Love.”
"Companies want more exposure for their video content. For example, an upcoming movie release, official music video launch, live concerts, sports, etc. We view cines as tweets for videos and therefore, potentially a unique opportunity for Cinemagram to achieve their goals,” stated a Cinemagram blog post about the brand-focused remixes.
Digital agency 360i spotlighted Cinemagram in its latest Startup Outlook report, which offers advice on how brands can take advantage of emerging technologies and platforms. The study, which also highlighted other mobile startups like Kiip and Square, recommends Cinemagram as tool for driving content marketing programs. “It works especially well for brands on Tumblr, since the animated images embed perfectly,” it stated.
On Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere, users have to click another link to see the Cinemagram.
Despite the obvious appeal to entertainment marketers, the agency suggested that other types of brands could also utilize the niche format. “A hotel brand might animate the waves seen from an oceanfront property, while a packaged-goods marketer might show one of its beverage brands being poured infinitely,” the report noted.
As a platform, Cinemagram still has a long way to go before it catches up with Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in April for $1 billion and boasts 80 million registered users.