Following a tumultuous week for the social video sector, Klip is remaining focused on grabbing the good kind of headlines: those for releasing ever-improving product and delivering value to its users.
Today, Klip released an updated version of its iOS app (v3.4) with some impressive new features — all of which were driven by user feedback. VP Chris Hamilton calls it the company’s “biggest launch in months.” With development cycles of just two to three weeks, and its release of the first full featured Android app in the space only three weeks in the rearview mirror, this is a significant statement.
Among the most notable changes unveiled today is a new interface that allows the playing of videos within the main feed, as opposed to solely in a dedicated page. Along with this ability comes a smart-stop functionality that terminates video play once the video scrolls out of view on the feed. To the likely delight of mobile-first Klip users, the app also gains the option to share YouTube videos, a feature previously only available within Klip’s Web version.
Moving beyond sharing third party content or personally captured video, users can now also make and share photo slideshows using one of the industry’s largest music catalogs containing 500 licensed clips (up to 90 images may be inculded per slideshow). Less notable but still welcome changes include the introduction of user profiles and bios, hyperlinked @mentions in comments with smart auto-complete (a la twitter), and significant under-the-hood speed increases.
Since the release of its Android app less than a month ago, Klip has more than doubled its monthly active users. The app has earned a 4.5-star rating in the Android Play marketplace. Although the above new features are currently exclusive to the iOS version, Klip’s rapid update cycles suggests that many will likely be available for Android in the near future. “There are lots of features of the new Jelly Bean OS that allow us to do things not available on iOS,” says Hamilton.
Unlike its competitors, which leveraged celebrity partners and hyper-aggressive Facebook Open Graph integration to inflate user statistics, Klip steered clear, instead taking a more steady approach. “We feel that the barn door [to exploiting the massive viral loop around Facebook] has closed somewhat at this point,” says Benchmark Capital general partner and Klip investor Bruce Dunlevie. “The ability to get durable users via the Facebook stuff remains to be seen.”
Klip has also taken a relatively moderate path through capital raising. While Viddy raised buckets of cash at nine-figure valuations, Klip has raised a total of $10 million to date from Benchmark Capital and Matrix Partners. The company’s latest round closed in October of last year.
If this week’s underwhelming Socialcam acquisition proved anything, it’s that the days of overhyped valuations and “Instagram of video” bandwagon are officially over. That’s probably just as well to Klip and their investors. Neither party has ever seemed terribly interested in playing that game anyway.
Judging by today’s business as usual app release, the plan is to continue refining and regularly adding incremental value. Video creation and social sharing aren’t going anywhere Klip seems to have every intention of remaining squarely within in the conversation.