Forget artificial intelligence, virtual reality, or drones. What the world really needs is another photo-sharing app (and Office for the iPad of course). Enter Melodigram, an app for iOS that lets you add background sound and an audio message to a photo, and share a link to that content on various social networks and via SMS and email. Today the Finnish startup is announcing that it’s closed €700K in funding from Finland’s Vauraus.
Founded in early 2012 by CEO and ex-Nokian Jonathan Massey, and CFO Samu Keränen (who incidentally is also CEO of karaoke startup SingOn), Melodigram shuns being a social network in itself and focuses purely on content creation and external sharing. In fact, you aren’t even required to register, which is refreshing and flies in the face of most consumer apps and services that are supported by advertising and rely on amassing as much personal data as possible. Instead, the startup hopes to make money with a B2B revenue model in which it will charge brands to run campaigns and competitions through the app as part of their marketing spend. Yes, it’s another attempt at engagement marketing via the backdoor of photo-sharing.
“While we have plenty of technology and social networks, our lives have become busier and our time shorter to focus on actual messages with feeling,” says co-founder and CEO Jonathan Massey. “A Happy Birthday on Facebook feels so sterile and worthless and there seems to be nothing that people currently use regularly to convey their feelings quickly and easily. This is what we are aiming to change.”
Whether or not adding a background soundtrack — “atmosphere” — and an audio message will resonate with users, is open to debate. The idea seems to sit in the gap between a photo and a video, if such a gap exists. That said, Melodigram isn’t the only photo-sharing app to be playing around with sound. I also recently came across Picment, which offers something very similar for Android. Italian startup Reclog is another example.
Meanwhile, Melodigram name-checks others broadly playing in the multimedia messaging/sharing space as Wordeo, Flipagram and PicPlayPost, though these seem to focus on creating short videos not specifically adding a soundtrack/audio message to a photo.