Selphee App Is Snapchat, Instagram And Vine Combined

Just in case you were getting tired of the same old mainline options for taking fun, shareable photos and videos on your phone, here’s another app (iOS and Android) that combines a sprinkling of Snapchat, a dash of Instagram and a smidgen of Vine to create a bite-sized multimedia post for sharing to your social networks.

It’s called Selphee. Selphee. See what they did there? (Ok, ‘Selphee Yippee Ka Yee’ to give it its full name.)

Although its name clearly invokes the selfie phenomenon, Selphee encourages users to post more than just their grinning visage. Well, unless they’re being really really narcissistic. It does this by making a still photo fade into a short video.

The app starts by getting the user to snap a selfie, or just y’know take a photo of something, and then choose how many seconds that image will be displayed for.

Then it gets them to record a short video, switching to the alternative phone lens to encourage them to vary the view (although the user can override the defaults by selecting front or rear camera at any point). As with Vine, the video is recorded by the user holding their finger down on the record button so they can take one continuous clip, or chain together a series of shorter snippets.

And that’s it. Your Selphee has been created. So this is basically a still photo that fades into a short video/video clip montage. Which means the original selfie/photo acts as a sort of cover image for the subsequent animated content.

If you’re still wondering what the hell that looks like, here’s an example of a Selphee.

The app does also includes a series of optional frames/effects to augment the cover photo with if you desire, including a speech bubble, decorative frames that reference the World Cup, or other stuff like a heart-shaped frame or a box effect.

Other similar players in this multimedia social sharing space — beyond the big names checked in the first para — include the likes of MelodigramWordeoFlipagram and PicPlayPost, to name a few. So there’s no shortage of choice, albeit the multimedia mix is a little different with each.

The combination of different media types is the differentiator here vs mainline apps that are more focused on sharing one type of media, be it photo or video based, but that mix inevitably makes all of these multimedia apps a bit fuzzy.

Still, Selphie, which launched at the beginning of February — and is backed by $250,000 in Angel funding so far — has pulled in more than 15,000 downloads of its iOS and Android apps to date, and has an active user-base of circa 60% according to founder Dennis Albinus.

“With the help of Curtis Lepore and Tony de Niro people really picked it up,” he says.

Albinus says Selphee is not aiming to build a social network itself. Rather the app encourages users to share their posts to mainline social networks such as Instagram. So it’s positioning itself as another tool in the social sharing box.

“We are really trying to be a tool that users can use for the [mainstream] social media channels,” he tells TechCrunch. “Both Instagram and Vine don’t offer the users to have a free selected picture to start with. They only offer you to use a frame from the video that you took.

“With Selphee you are able to be more creative than just the traditional way of video… Everybody can use this app to create cool videos.”

Selphee is free to download so the monetizing is going to come from branded “splash screens” when users open the app, and also via sponsored frames they can choose to add to their photos when they edit them.

Additional extras coming soon to the app will also introduce more money-making opportunities, including the ability to add music to accompany the user’s photo and video. Suggested music will then be another potential revenue stream, says Albinus.

His last startup, a job site called Revl which we covered back in 2012, sold to an online recruitment company in the Netherlands.

What did he learn from that business? “The most important lesson I learned is listen to your users. Figure out what they want instead of thinking about the dollars,” he says.