social startups

In February 2005, a video-sharing website debuted. Today, YouTube is the go-to site for video on the web. Every minute, one hundred hours of video are uploaded to it. Video sharing is expected to become even more prominent next year in our mobile, on-the-go lives. Apps for making short videos to share on YouTube, like Vine and Instagram, convey messages in seconds. But what if you want to take storytelling to the next level.

voyzeeThat’s where the all-in-one, mobile video app for iOS and Android comes in. On the surface, Voyzee resembles other video apps out there. As with those apps, you can use the contents of your photo roll to easily create a photo and video montage. 

But as the name suggests, Voyzee is all about creating and sharing video stories narrated in your own voice. Upload or capture the content to tell your story (up to 30 images or video clips). Then add captions, descriptions, and animations, as well as choose filters, and set transitions. 

“A need to tell and hear stories is essential to humans—storytelling is the dominant sound of our lives. While apps like Vine, Instagram, Viddy, Qwiki, and similar services capture ‘moments’ or even ‘experiences,’ they do not tell the whole story,” says Brian Rehfuss, CEO and co-founder of Voyzee. “We developed Voyzee to be an all-in-one, mobile storytelling tool, empowering users to create and share stories with pictures, videos, music, and their own voice. The result is a richer and more compelling social media-sharing experience—true storytelling.”

Also unlike other apps of its kind, Voyzee makes it easy for users to tell their story any way they like. Rather than struggling to narrate an entire collection of content in one take, Voyzee lets users remove background audio and record narration over individual video clips and images. If you’re at a loss for words, music provides narration with songs from Voyzee’s library or from your own collection of mp3 files. 

“Voyzee does not attempt to control how many photos or videos comprise a story, nor does it have an ideal story length,” Rehfuss says about the free app he co-founded with Valeri Chirokov in February 2013. “A story can be a single picture or video clip, multiple video clips or photos, or a mixture of both photos and video clips.”

social mediaEach video created with Voyzee can then be shared on Voyzee’s own social network or Facebook, Twitter, email, and SMS messaging. Users can even download their Voyzee video for re-posting on other networks (YouTube, Vimeo, etc). Need to make a change after a Voyzee video has been published? Change it in the app, and it will automatically update wherever it has been shared. 

“For instance, a user can publish and share a story on the first day of a vacation, and then edit and update the same story on each following day,” says Rehfuss, who is proud to call Cleveland home and help develop Cleveland's mobile technology sector. “The story will be updated wherever it was previously shared.”

Since November 13, Voyzee has accrued more than 75,000 downloads. “By the end of the year, we hope to have over 100,000 downloads and over 250,000 through the first quarter of 2014, putting us on track for over 1 million quality downloads by the end of 2014,” Rehfuss says. “We also have begun the process of locating a new round of funding, which we hope to close by the end of the first quarter of 2014. We hope this will facilitate and accelerate our growth.”

“As more individuals acquire powerful phones and cellular networks, speed and bandwith increase, and Wi-Fi networks become increasingly prevalent and accessible, I expect mobile video sharing to steadily increase,” says Rehfuss. “It has been held back, not by a lack of user interest or demand, but by technological limitations, particularly on the consumption side.” 

Voyzee bridges the gap in mobile video technology. “We have numerous updates in the pipeline and will continue to improve performance. For us, the current version of Voyzee is an opening salvo in our drive to become the dominant player in mobile video creation and sharing.” 

Voyzee is available for free at the iTunes App Store or on the Google Play Store.

Social Startups is a weekly Social Media Today column written by Shay Moser about the newest and most innovative social companies. Look for the next installment next Wednesday morning. Logos by Jesse Wells.