20. August 2012–
For those of us habitually sharing loops in our so-far privately active Loopcam community, things just got distinctively more social. Today the four Berlin-based Swedes premiere a new version of the addictive GIF-sharing iOS app with deep Facebook integration through open graph. Now you can "like" loops, share them on Facebook (hereby known as "looping a loop"), follow friends, restrict your feed to their content and find fellow Loopers with a standard Twitter/Facebook friend finder.
More importantly, you can now upload third-party material directly to Loopc.am from online channels like 4chan (which just opened a new work-safe GIF forum) and the Cheezburger Network (which has made a considerable mark circulating loops, often toward virality.) While we're still waiting to "loop our day," organize our Loopcam libraries according to time and location, and slow down the speed of the playback, we can't help but applaud the team for staying focused.
Nothing unexpected. More importantly, nothing unnecessary.
Since closing funding in early June led by Passion Capital and accompanying angels Peter Read, Zoe Adamovicz (Xyologic,Concise Software), Soundcloud's Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, Heilemann Ventures (Dailydeal), Christophe Maire, and Felix Petersen (Amen), we've hardly heard from the friendly Swedes. Every check-in proved them hard at work and heads down in their (and also Readmill's) new Prenzlauerberg headquarters in the Kulturbrauerei. In September, they're preparing to launch the API, allowing users and other apps to add audio or other layers.
"Loops and images are different in nature."
This new version could just be one step toward Loopcam's asymptotic approach toward the Instagram model (whereby, with speed and some luck, the Berlin-based company could come to fulfill the title of "Instagram for GIFs"). When I ask Loopcam founder Tor Rauden whether an Istagram structure is the end goal (with substituted medium), he insists that loops and images should be treated differently.
He's expressive about the creation of a Loopcam ecosystem, one that is distinct in and of itself, especially as the team prepares to open the API up to new creative genes. "When people share images, they're competing over who's in the cooler place or whose doing the cooler thing, what their breakfast looks like..." Tor says. "With loops, it's more creative. There's a lot of stop animation. There's more interplay between users. Someone tries out something new and you see others experimenting around it."
Share your best #summer loop on Loopcam
As an example, Tor sites one Loopcam user who recently did "the matrix in loops," taking shots while circling around his friend. "Others caught on and started using the format," he says. With deep integration on Facebook, the community will continue to spread globally (currently the most aggressive growth in the US, Sweden, UK and Germany) "This summer is about to reach an end, but it will last forever if we loop it enough," Tor says. "We're asking users to loop their best summer moment so far, using the #summer hashtag."
The best #summer looper gets free entrance and drinks at the official Loopcam housewarming party at their new HQ! We'll be there.
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