The evolution of telephone technology has changed the way we interact. With the advent of mobile messaging, traditional voice calls have seen a steady decline. People are looking for more expressive forms of mobile communication. Each day, over six billion emojis and one billion GIFs are sent around the world. Consumers are showing that multimedia is increasingly important in modern communication, so Vlipsy in Canton is introducing the next big thing to the digital discussion: a video clip search engine.
“There’s been a trend since the earliest days of messaging, to go to more and more expressive means of content. It started with emojis and went to stickers. Then people wanted their multimedia to move, and that was the dawn of GIFs, but GIFs extract the audio out of video clips,” said Chris Nickless, CEO of Vlipsy. “The audio adds context. We offer the next step in the evolution—the value of audio to convey messages more effectively.”
Similar to the way services like Giphy compile and index GIFs, Vlipsy rounds up the best of the best video clips categorized and searchable by keyword, including audio, that users can quickly copy and send via any messaging medium. Nickless says that each new trend in messaging has been prompted by one common motivation: more effective expression. A laughing emoji expresses laughter better than “LOL,” but a moving, auditory representation referencing popular culture, is even more effective.
If you want to express annoyance with a friend’s comments, you could try to simply communicate that with words. You could use the eye-roll emoji. You could try a soundless GIF. Or you could send this masterpiece from Vlipsy.
“Things like diction, tone and sarcasm are very challenging to express when you’re just texting with a friend. But if you drop the perfect clip from a TV show you both like—now you’re on the same page,” said Nickless. “We know people like to send multimedia to express themselves, so we’re helping them be funnier, more articulate, or whatever they’re aiming to be, and have fun doing it.”
Vlipsy developed its technology with support from JumpStart, the North Coast Angel Fund and the Impact Angel Fund, all northeast Ohio regional partners of Ohio Third Frontier. Through these resources, the Vlipsy founders were able to build out a team of developers, focus full-time on their product and reinvest in their business. The new-wave media company also receives backing from media heavyweight Cox Enterprises. Nickless believes the spirit of northeast Ohio is driving their startup success.
“The community of entrepreneurs in northeast Ohio is phenomenal. I take a lot of pride in the area. There are no silver spoons here, and I truly believe there’s kind of this rugged spirit of just, ‘I’m going to go prove it,’” said Nickless. “The people in the startup community want to help and see others succeed. One success story can open 20 more doors for another entrepreneur, so everyone is not only doing it for themselves and their mission, but really to benefit the entire community. There’s a lot of fighting spirit in northeast Ohio.”