There’s a new video-sharing app on the block and it’s called “Beme” conceptualised by Casey Neistat, New York-based Filmmaker and YouTube Vlogging star.
I wrote a blog about him a few months back [April], which you can read here by clicking this. Yes, literally click the word “this”. Casey’s managed to craft a total of 114 daily vlogs since then via YouTube, growing the amount of subscribers by a few hundred thousand. Pretty impressive. Somewhere around vlog #029 he introduced a segment called “Let’s Talk Business” that gave him an opportunity to both talk about and show us the new space for his ten top secret new company. Fast-forward to around vlog #105 we’re finally introduced to Beme.
Today, Beme Inc. launched their “authentic” video-sharing app, Beme and after seeing what the app does, my first thought was, “Well that was a complete letdown.” Kiddin’! It’s actually quite clever and Casey Neistat may just have figured out how to get people back to having real conversations and real moments without your smartphone getting in the way. Beme, as Casey puts it “wants you to maintain eye contact” (Who does that these days?!) and enjoy whatever you’re doing without looking through your smartphone’s lens.
Anyway, to get back to my story. They’ve used the “proximity sensor” on the iPhone as a record button. Have no fear, your Android device ought to have it as well (I think). So now you can pretty much shoot a video clip [only four seconds long] or take a selfie just by placing your phone screen against your person or a wall. Or at least that’s how he sells it and you can watch the video below.
Someone asked me, “Why not just use ‘Snapchat’ and not look at the phone?” It’s a very good question and I see where they were going with that and I’d agree on some levels. But I think with trendy apps like Snapchat and Instagram for instance, there’s still a certain level of self-consciousness involved. One where our and relatives friends only present the “best versions” of themselves to the public. It’s like taking a selfie, but you only select maybe the one that to you looked the best after the 20th photograph.
On the flip-side though, I’d have been more interested in seeing the global reaction to the app if the beta testers weren’t predominantly fans, friends, and family of Casey. The reviews are always going to be skewed to be more positive than negative ones. I’d have rather seen random beta testers who were prepared to tell it like it really is. I will say this; Beme has been very strategic with the app release using Casey’s ever-growing channel as a platform to advertise, as well as his newfound celebrity to hold meetups with fans turned potential users. I have to give them that from a marketing standpoint. There’s however, not enough marketing gimmicks in the world to escape the obvious comparisons that will come back to “haunt” them, i.e. Snapchat.
But the other reality too is that you sometimes start on a journey of developing an idea and out of nowhere comes competition. You’re millions of dollars in and all your investors are waiting for the product release. All you can do is hope for a successful release. In this instance though, seeing Snapchat was already in existence, I think there’s a shot it could have a similar success like Twitter and Vine.
That’s what competition is all about. Constantly aiming to build a better mousetrap than what’s out there. I could see why Casey feels there’s a space for Beme in the app marketplace. After all, there’s always room for one more. I’m sure Casey and his team are all “bemeing” with pride.
So far it’s only available to iOS users, so if you have an Android then you’re going to have to wait. No word yet if it’ll be made available in the Google Play store, but here’s to hoping. If you’re interested and you have an iPhone, you can download the first version of the app here http://apple.co/1OjdMFR
Updated: December 05, 2016
Casey recently sold Beme Inc. to CNN for $25 million. The app will be shutdown in all app stores.