Cinemagram: The Next Big Thing?

With Facebook’s acquisition of the photo-sharing program, Instagram, the popularity of creative apps continues to grow – especially when it comes to video. Social video apps allow users to upload and share videos with followers. Unlike these crowd pleasers, Cinemagram is somewhere in the middle of photo and video – and people are paying attention.

Cinemagram is a photo-video hybrid where users can create an animated GIF called a “cine.” Much like Instagram, retro filters can be implemented to stylize and add interest. To create this animated artwork, record a short video, and choose several seconds of it. Next, choose the still image from the first frame of the video clip, and use your fingers to animate the parts you want.

For example, say you shoot a video of a subway station. Using Cinemagram, you can highlight the moving train, choose the still image of the station, and the “cine” becomes an image of the still subway platform with the animated train speeding by. While it takes practice and patience, the end result is certainly more impressive, and more imaginative, than a fixed image. One step up from the average photo app, Cinemagram makes creativity more accessible to those who aren’t video or animation savvy. It’s also shareable via email, or social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Similar to Instagram, this app is another creative platform that allows sharing, commenting, and following. The part-still, part-animated GIFs are based on movement, which automatically increases visual interest for users. The results can be playful, artsy, or even spooky, and they are all engaging and fun to browse. Although the process is more complicated than snapping a photo and adding a filter, it is fairly easy to learn. But these extra steps could prevent the app from reaching Instagram’s favored status.

Instead of adding the usual photos and links to your company Facebook or Twitter account, try using Cinemagram to create intriguing visuals for followers. A funny animation of coworkers or the traffic outside your office will break with convention, and set your company’s social media presence apart. Another appealing detail? It’s free! Browse their Tumblr account to see how people are using the app.