Video is very much where it’s at in the digital sphere, with the likes of Vine and Instagram serving the mobile masses well with their offerings, and the recently-launched Cameo making things longer-form with its 2-minute skits consisting of (up to) 6-second clips.
But Russian startup Coub has also been operating in a similar space since 2012, and today is racking up a fairly impressive 28 million monthly active users (MAU), according to a company spokesperson. Things really started to gain traction around January this year – the same month Twitter launched Vine. A coincidence? Maybe.
In a nutshell, Coub’s existing Web app lets you upload video from your hard-drive or paste a URL from YouTube or Vimeo. You then clip a 10-second snippet from it, add a music track and you’re good to go. While the video continues to loop, the audio plays continuously if you choose to upload a separate backing track. Also, there is an Android app, but it’s unofficial (created by a user) and it’s restricted purely to perusing and viewing videos on Coub. There’s no scope for creating here.
Now, however, the company has unveiled its first iOS app, and this time it actually lets you shoot 10-second looping videos from scratch and add music into the mix.
How it works
You’ll need to create an account before accessing any aspect of the app, and this can be done using Facebook, Twitter or your email address. Once in, you can browse through existing uploads or create your own, which you do by hitting the button in the bottom middle, and record your snippet. You can also use the front-facing camera if you wish.
You’ll then have the option to use the original audio as recorded by the app, or you can add your own music as a backing track – it will continue looping the video for the duration of the audio track.
Next, you can add filters in an Instagram kind of way and you’re almost good to go.
Just give it a title, indicate whether it will be public or private, then hit ‘Post’. Once it’s uploaded, you can opt to share it across the social sphere or just copy the link.
From your Web-based profile, you can actually grab the iFrame code and embed it anywhere on the Web too.
Coub’s a decent app for sure, one that’s now trying to replicate the likes of Instagram and Vine by letting you shoot directly in-app. But there are some key differences – for example Coub isn’t a mobile-first experience. Its existing service has been entirely Web-based for the past year or so, with users tapping existing videos to create music-based memes.
Now with its iOS app in tow (Android to follow), it’s really more of an extra string to its bow as it looks to drive growth globally. As things stand, around 70% of its MAU is based in Russia, though it does actually claim one million users in the US. With this latest launch, these numbers can only climb.