Mobli is launching a new version of its photo- and video-sharing app, pushing into the next generation of this competitive space with a revamped news feed of based on the people and channels the user follows, a new way to auto-edit uploaded photos, and filters specific to cities and other locations.
Although it’s going up against competitors ranging from Instagram to Vine, the Israeli and New York company is in it for the long haul. It has previously raised $22 million, fielded some big acquisition offers (we hear), and added up 5 million registered (albeit not monthly) users.
Mobli has been busy hiring lately, too, with the new iOS app (iTunes link) being an early result of its expansion. As I covered in my sneak peek last fall, the company has HTML5 for a native app due to performance limitations. If the Android (to be released in a month or so) will be anything like the iOS app, their money is being well spent on the device-first focus.
Version 3.0 isn’t just marked by the native rewrite though. Mobli also packed the new version with a bunch of UX improvements. Here are all the new features Mobli 3.0 comes with:
First off, the app is significantly faster and more responsive than previous versions — immediately noticeable with the new redesigned main ‘feed’ screen. User-to-user messaging is now baked-in, saving users from having to jump over to Facebook to search and contact others. New Tumblr integration should also find welcome arms among users. Improvements to hashtag-suggestion and search have also been made.
This brings us to where Mobli has always shone… filters and effects. To begin with, Mobli now has an ‘Auto-Enhance’ feature that analyzes every photo’s colors, brightness, contrast, contents and composition, and applies the filter it feels is most suited for the image. Users can of course chose other filters and effects, but the suggestion is a nice addition. This is on top of my favorite UX feature where instead of having to access the camera roll, the last three photos taken are offered on the bottom of the camera screen. There are also nine new ones video filters.
Finally, with the new version Mobli also beefed-up event and location based filters. For example, Mobli can offer specific filters for Paris or New York City, while at the same time offering particular ones for venues such as the Louvre, or Madison Square Garden. Event-specific filters are relevant for music concerts, for example, and larger events, say, New Years Eve.