Los Angeles Business Journal

Video App Maker Opts For New Name and Focus

INTERNET: Viddy’s now Supernova as it works to regain firm’s early heat. By Tom Dotan Monday, November 11, 2013

Viddy, maker of an eponymous short-form video app that had a very public rise and fall last year, has unveiled the final touches on a rebranding effort. The company now has a new mission, some new products and a new name.

Supernova, as the Venice startup will be called henceforth, is no longer a maker of a single title but a producer of a handful of multimedia apps, all with a focus on social sharing. The first new products – Epic and Clique – riff on some of the biggest trends in mobile messaging.

It’s a new path for the company, which co-founder J.J. Aguhob, newly elevated to chief executive, said steps away from the voracious growth needs of a social network and toward an app-producing house.

Epic, a video messaging app, is built on top of the Viddy platform and functions almost as an add-on. Users can log in with their Viddy account and take two-second videos at high frame rates, which are then slowed down and stretched into eight-second slo-mo clips. The standalone Apple iOS app is designed for iPads and phone models dating back to iPhone 4, and takes advantage of a new 120 frames-per-second recording feature introduced in the recently released iPhone 5S.

Videos shot in Epic can be posted to YouTube, Twitter or shared with friends on the Viddy network. These clips are also silent and looping, mimicking the aesthetics of GIFs – a file format for moving images that has become wildly popular online.

Aguhob said the inspirations for Epic came from focus groups the company did with Viddy’s young users, who wanted to shoot brief videos, consume them furtively and skirt past the watchful eyes of adults.

“They didn’t like sound on their video because a majority of the time they’re consuming content in the classroom and don’t want their teachers to find out,” Aguhob said. “We wanted to make it easier to consume on the go.”

If Epic is a play on GIFs, Clique is a mixture between the ephemeral image messaging popularized by neighboring Snapchat Inc. and the anonymous confessions of Whisper Inc. of Santa Monica.

With Clique, a person takes a picture then manipulates it with the app’s effects, such as stickers, drawings and text. These pictures are then shared to a select group of friends (a clique), who can respond with their own doodles over the original image or with a separate photo. The responses are anonymous, as in Whisper, and once an image is viewed it cannot be seen again, a la Snapchat.

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