Steller is a storytelling app that has been around since the beginning of 2014, but today the company has announced a huge overhaul of the app’s UX to make editing and creating that much simpler.
Steller allows users to upload videos, photos, and add text to create a storybook experience on mobile. Users can create Steller stories based around an event, a party, or their own creative projects (like a cookbook for a specific recipe). Users can re-arrange their stories, add themes, and even make some granular changes to the look and feel before publishing them to Steller and other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Consuming a story is as simple as flipping through the pages of a book, and that same consumption experience is mirrored on mobile and via the web.
With the overhaul, Steller has added some new features like the ability to upload multiple photos and videos at once into a certain story. But the big change lies in the Discovery portion of the app, which is now tailored to each user’s browsing behavior and engagement.
Storytelling apps have yet to catch on, with betaworks-backed Tapestry being one of the more prominent story-telling services to have landed in the dead pool. But Steller has managed to stick around for a year now as a fully bootstrapped startup.
Co-founder Jay Wilder says this has a lot to do with story-telling as a medium.
“Some of the things we love most, TV and movies and music, are delivered in this linear fashion, with a beginning, middle and an end,” said Wilder. “We think that Steller has had this staying power because it balances creative tools with simplicity, so users can enjoy the story as it reveals itself.”
Steller originally launched as a basic creative platform, where users could arrange their media with a certain theme and send it out into the world. In the second iteration, in August of last year, Steller added more community-based functionality, such as @mentions, comments, and likes.
Wilder says that Steller 3.0 (the company is calling it ‘the new Steller’) is the culmination of the company’s design philosophy, streamlining the user interface not only for creation but for consumption.
So far, Wilder and the team haven’t decided how they’ll monetize the platform and are instead focused on user acquisition.