Popcorn’s new app brings short-form video to the workplace

A new startup known as Popcorn desires to make work communication extra enjoyable and private by providing a means for customers to document quick video messages, or “pops,” that can be utilized for any variety of functions rather than longer emails, texts, Slack messages or Zoom calls. While there are many different locations to document short-form video today, most of those exist in the social media area, which isn’t acceptable for a piece atmosphere. Nor does it make sense to ship a video you’ve recorded in your telephone as an e-mail attachment, while you actually simply need to verify in with a colleague or say whats up.

Popcorn, on the different hand, permits you to create the quick video after which ship a URL to that video wherever you’d need to add a private contact to your message.

For instance, you may use Popcorn in a enterprise networking state of affairs, the place you’re making an attempt to join with somebody in your business for the first time — aka “cold outreach.” Instead of simply blasting them a message on LinkedIn, you may additionally paste in the Popcorn URL to introduce your self in a extra pure, pleasant vogue. You additionally may use Popcorn together with your group at work for issues like every day check-ins, sharing progress on an ongoing venture or to greet new hires, amongst different issues.

Image Credits: Popcorn

Videos themselves will be up to 60 seconds in size — a time restrict designed to maintain Popcorn customers from rambling. Users can also decide to document audio provided that they don’t need to seem on video. And you may improve the playback pace for those who’re in a rush. Users who need to obtain “pops” may additionally promote their “popcode” (e.g. strive mine at U8696).

The thought to convey short-form video to the workplace comes from Popcorn co-founder and CEO Justin Spraggins, whose background is in constructing shopper apps. One of his first apps to achieve traction again in 2014 was a Tinder-meets-Instagram experience called Looksee that allowed customers to join round shared pictures. A pair years later, he co-founded a social calling app called Unmute, a Clubhouse precursor of types. He then went on to co-found 9 Count, a shopper app improvement store which launched extra social apps like BFF (beforehand Wink) and Juju.

9 Count’s lead engineer, Ben Hochberg, is now additionally a co-founder on Popcorn (or somewhat, Snack Break, Inc. as the authorized entity is known as). They started their work on Popcorn in 2020, simply after the begin of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the fast shift to distant work in the days that adopted may now assist Popcorn achieve traction amongst distributed groups. Today’s distant employees might by no means once more return to in-person conferences at the workplace, however they’re additionally rising bored with lengthy days caught in Zoom conferences.

With Popcorn, the aim is to make work communication enjoyable, private and bite-sized, Spraggins says. “[We want to] bring all the stuff we’re really passionate about in consumer social into work, which I think is really important for us now,” he explains.

“You work with these people, but how do you — without scheduling a Zoom — how do you bring the ‘human’ to it?,” Spraggins says. “I’m really excited about making work products feel more social, more like Snapchat than utility tools.”

There is loads Popcorn would nonetheless want to work out to actually make a business-oriented social app work, together with including enhanced safety, limiting spam, providing some kind of reporting circulation for dangerous actors, and extra. It will even ultimately want to land on a profitable income mannequin.

Currently, Popcorn is a free download on iPhone, iPad and Mac, and provides a Slack integration so you may ship video messages to co-workers straight in the communication software program you already use to catch up and keep in contact. The app right now is pretty easy, however the firm plans to improve its quick movies over time utilizing AR frames that permit customers showcase their personalities.

The startup raised a $400,000 pre-seed spherical from General Catalyst (Niko Bonatsos) and Dream Machine (Alexia Bonatsos, beforehand editor-in-chief at TechCrunch.) Spraggins says the firm will probably be wanting to elevate a seed spherical in the fall to assist with hires, together with in the AR area.

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