Picture and video sharing platform mobli Media Inc. has launched a new version of its social app, which will allow its 15 million users to air video in real time. The company, which can be considered a major rival to Instagram, will now offer all forms of visual sharing: pictures, video, and live video.
"Our vision from the beginning was to allow people to experience the world through other people's eyes, anywhere, anytime," says. mobli founder and CEO Moshe Hogeg. "Real-time broadcasting is a natural evolution of visual content sharing, and we're focused on this subject this year."
Hogeg said that in addition to the app's launch, mobli plans to upgrade its site to HTML5 by the end of the month, and to open its platform to external developers. As part of the new feature's launch, the company will initiate a social media campaign asking users to send pictures and video clips of themselves. The winners will go up in Times Square next week. Jennifer Lopez is expected to participate in this campaign.
With the real-time broadcasting feature, mobli is opening a new front against Instagram; until now, Instagram has seemed to follow in mobli's wake. Mobli preceded Instagram in video sharing, and it is now adding a feature that the Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) unit has no answer to.
In an interview with "Globes" six months ago, Hogeg said, "We probably won't exceed Instagram in the number of users, but we can differentiate ourselves in other markets. Most of the world has never heard of Instagram. I have no plans to be number one in this market; my goal is to establish a successful business."
Real-time broadcasting is picking up in the apps world, and there are a number of Israeli companies in the field, including LiveLens Ltd.Yevvo Ltd., but they are small-scale operations with only a fraction of mobli's 15 million users.
mobli, founded in 2007, has 70 employees in Israel. It raised $89 million from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, Kazakh billionaire Kenes Rakishev, and a string of entertainment and sports stars, including Leonardo DicCaprio, Serena Williams, and Toby Maguire.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 15, 2014
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