Facebook promoting videos is a sure sign of how important visual content has become. Six-month-old Znapin is building a social network around video content, where users can do everything from dubbing videos of iconic movies to exploring videos shot by others.
Ninety four per cent of users access the Internet through their mobile phones in urban India, states the report ‘Internet in India 2015’. While 64 per cent of users use laptops to access the Internet, almost 90 per cent of those users consider mobile to be their primary device for browsing.
Over the past few years, smartphones have become more powerful and their form factors have gradually increased, with five and 5.5 inch screens now considered the norm. This has also made it easier for users to consume video content on their smartphones. Taking all this into account, Znapin, a Mumbai based startup is looking to make a mark in the user generated video (UGC) space.
Story so far
Znapin was founded by Yash Kotak and Nyha Shree, and currently consists of a team of five, across different roles. Yash is the lead techie on the team and his areas of expertise include human computer interaction and behavioural patterns. Nyha is a startup evangelist and hacker. She brings to the table project management, business development and people management skills.
With Znapin, users can engage and interact with friends by nominating them to take selfie, ‘velfie’, dub and karaoke wars. The app includes a level of gamification with a leader board based on different parameters.
While dubbing a video, users are given access to short clips of iconic movies or TV shows and are expected to provide the background voiceover for the same. Yash,36, says,
Through Znapin, users can create their own mini-stories, mashup of fun selfies, videos and dubs. The app also allows users to share their images and videos on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber, Hike, Vine, or as a link via SMS.
Znapin is currently bootstrapped and looking to raise a round of funding to expand its team and also reach out to a wider audience. The team is focussing on further enhancing the app and adding more features. It has about 50,000 users across Android and iOS platforms. While the app is free to download and use for the end consumer, Yash adds that they have a few revenue streams in mind and will implement them once they reach a critical mass of users.
Experts predict that by 2019, 80 per cent of all Internet traffic will be through videos, and smartphones will likely be at the forefront of this revolution. Companies such as Facebook, Snapchat, Meerkat, Twitter’s Periscope are currently focussing on leveraging video content on their platforms.
Dubsmash, a big player in this space, raised a $5.5-million Series A round from Index Ventures in August 2015. Closer home, in India, Znapin competes with Velfie, which generates revenue through advertising, tie-ups and campaigns.
What we liked and possible areas of improvement
In terms of layout and design, Znapin provides a fun and immersive experience with appropriate use of themes and colours for different sections of the app. The leader board adds to the ‘gamification’ angle, and is a great feature to drive user engagement. ‘Dub wars’ and ‘tongue twisters’ were fun challenges to try out. The content and challenges in the app, which are mainly set by the Znapin team, is well done and executed. Another social feature that drives interest is the ability to ‘pinch’ or ‘slap’ friends to gain their attention.
The Android version of the app occupies 40MB of space while the iOS version is half of that. Further optimising and compressing the Android app would increase user retention and decrease uninstall rates. Including more in-app messaging features and ways to interact with friends will also add to the appeal and increase interaction within the app.
Znapin, on the whole, provides a fun engaging experience to create and consume quirky video content. While Dubsmash has gained worldwide popularity, the video creation process there requires only lip syncing and acting from the user. In the reverse dubbing process, the user provides voiceover to an existing video, which Znapin is trying to promote. It is a more creative and labour-intensive process and gaining traction for the same might not be as easy. With an experienced and lean team working on the app, it will be interesting to see what features Znapin comes up with next.
What do you think about this app, do let us know in the comments below. Also do check out other apps under our App Fridays series.