25. January 2013–
Today Berlin-based GIF animating startup Loopcam has expanded to China and secured a new domain specifically for Chinese users. The company's latest step towards Asia is a result of the team's interest in East Asia combined with the app's reportedly growing user base in Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul.
The app's first foray into the huge Chinese market is accompanied with a new filter in time to celebrate Chinese New Year on 10 February, which allows users to digitally wear a traditional Chinese hat framed with lanterns and fireworks.
Loopcam's hyped iOS app is backed by Passion Capital along with a line of well-known investors from the European startup scene including Christopher Maire (Txtr), Zoe Adamovicz (Xyologic) and Alexander Ljung (SoundCloud) to name a few.
Loopcam vs. Twitter's Vine
Coinciding with Loopcam's latest launch is Twitter's unveiling of Vine, an iOS app enabling users to share looping videos up to six seconds in length.
Not only does Vine provide a similar service, their branding colour scheme is strikingly similar to Loopcam's mint green. Considering Loopcam launched in July 2011 – Vine seems to have used the Berlin GIF platform as inspiration. Compare the logos for yourself...
"Their ownership by Twitter is a challenge for their users. A recent example is how their Friend Finder got shut down by Facebook today. In comparison, due to our independence from a third-party network — we'll always be able to treat our integration with Tumblr, Facebook and local Chinese networks with the same love and care," he added.
Both apps are free and available worldwide. Despite similarities, each app demonstrates different areas of strength.
Loopcam's latest acquisition of a Chinese domain reveals a strategy that caters to the specific needs of each market, which could help with gaining traction amongst users. In addition, the app enhances the loop experience by offering a quirky filter option for special occasions like Christmas and Chinese New year.
On the other hand, Vine's focus on discovery is evident in its beautiful "Explore" page, which consists of a mosaic of well-designed hashtag icons.
With competition heating up, it will be interesting to see how the Loopcam vs. Vine story unfolds in the coming months...