There's a new download in town garnering love from celebrities, and it has nothing to do with summer movies or navigating L.A. traffic. An app called Flipagram has found fans in Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Jessica Alba and Britney Spears. The program allows a user to make a digital flipbook of a select number of photos, say 20, and add music. The video can then be disseminated by the user.
"The idea is that no one wants to have to keep clicking through a boring endless slide show!" says Farhad Mohit, founder of Flipagram. "This turns it into entertainment."
The app, which launched at the end of 2013, is simple to use. The user downloads Flipagram which works on the Android and iOS platforms, makes a video that can then be uploaded to Instagram, Facebook or YouTube. Owned by parent company Cheerful Inc., the technology is just the latest in a series of tech offerings from Mohit, who also founded Shopzilla in 2004 and BizRate.com in 1996.
In February, Flipagram picked up steam at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York when designers including Monique Lhuillier, Diane Von Furstenberg and BCBG opted to make mini-shows of their top looks. In perhaps, the ultimate fashion stamp of approval, the CFDA (the Council of Fashion Designers of America) made a video as well.
The popularity of the app has been mostly viral but Flipagram acknowledges that some of its celebrity fandom is not by accident. Asked if there's a celebrity seeding program in place, Mohit says, "It's a combination of both but for the most part these celebs use it themselves. Victoria Beckham, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake all used it on their own to show off collections, events. Instead of clogging up their feed, they can make one slide show. Victoria used it for her collection, Dominique Ansel showed his one year of the cronut, Lea Michele used it to show the behind the scenes of a magazine photo shoot.”
One reason celebrities may be drawn to the app, in addition to ease of use, Flipagram does not acquire any ownership or storage of photos or videos. Another reason may be that the company is willing to assist actors, musicians, agents and publicity reps in their marketing efforts.
The company worked with Aloe Blacc's music publicist and social media team to show off Blacc's Coachella experience in April. The company also works with music labels putting musicians and bands on the Flipagram app as the "featured song," encouraging other users to choose certain tunes for their background music.
In May, Flipagram worked with stylist Jeff Kim, who was preparing clients for the Metropolitan Museum’s annual Met Ball. Kim, who was styling Joan Smalls, Brie Larson and Zoe Kravitz, made videos documenting their adventures. The company also worked with Estee Stanley, who styled Jessica Biel for this year's Oscars.
"I take 1000 photos when I style a client and this is a way to show how the look came together. It's like a movie or a photographer’s exhibit all sped up into one video; you get so much out of 30 seconds," says Stanley. Flipagram then helped to disseminate and seed the video, garnering Stanley a desirable People magazine placement.