All major social networks, including Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, have their own take on how collaboration should work. But most of these features have limitations such as time limits and the number of creators included in a clip. A new app called Along wants to remove all of these limitations to allow for unlimited collaborative videos with multiple creators.
The app is based on the concept of endless videos called “tapes”. A creator can start a tape by recording a clip and later add as many clips as they want. You can also enable collaboration for tapes, so other creators can add their own videos to the same theme. Once the master poster approves these collaborations, they will be added to the tape.
The idea is similar to the “Add This” feature that Meta recently introduced to its short-form video offering, Reels. Except in this case, users are collaborating on a video “tape” filmed by the original poster, not simply contributing to a trending page.
He said the new app is targeting creators who want to engage with their audience more frequently.
Although the app is invite-only for now, TechCrunch readers can get it first here https://along.video/invite/techcrunch.
While watching a tape, users can move between individual clips by swiping left or right. You can also scroll down the vertical feed to go to the next tape – just like on TikTok or Reels.
If you tap the “Clips” bar at the bottom of the screen, you can access a table of contents that allows you to easily jump to a specific section. This is useful if someone follows a creator who posts travel vlogs every few days. If users have seen previous clips, for example, they can jump directly to the latest clip.
To get started, creators can record a 60-second clip directly from the app’s camera or import up to five minutes of existing footage. You can add links to a website or tag users in a clip. Link tagging is convenient for product reviewers and other references to the creator’s social profiles – no need for a “link in bio” here.
Who can collaborate is under the creator’s control. Video creators can turn off collaboration for everyone or people they follow – the latter is the default.
Users can also join a tape by tapping the “collab” button that appears next to the carousel of collaborators’ icons on the tape.
The startup was founded in 2020 Bryn Jackson, a former Github and Figma executive. The Los Angeles-based company raised $2 million in pre-seed funding last year from such investors Ludlow Ventures, Fuel Capital, Form Capital, Eve Williams and Hidden Ventures.
The idea for Along came to Jackson after he ran into a problem uploading a YouTube video that couldn’t be resolved without losing comments and views. The problem got him thinking about how internet video hasn’t evolved over the years. Jackson says he wants to create a new format that breaks the idea that Internet video is an immutable, uneditable file.
The founder says the app doesn’t have a steep learning curve because most creators already know how to create videos in a short format. In addition, the app offers co-op promotional tapes and formats for new users.
The company tested the app with more than 500 users over a year to understand how this format works. Jackson said the biggest lesson from the early experiments was perfecting a feature, in this case “cooperation.”
We’ve always seen collaboration as one of the many convenient side effects of the format we’re building, but it was the easiest thing for people to grasp as both a fun way to create and a clear reason to use the platform. ,” he said.
For now, it’s free to use, and the company is still figuring out its monetization model. The startup aims to officially launch after a few months of invitation only.
Jackson said a team of four at Along is now working on features like reordering clips on tape for creators and a bookmarking feature for users. The company is considering ways to send tapes to other major social platforms.
Since Instagram is making many unpopular changes to the app, many users have been trying alternative social networks like BeReal, Poparazzi, Locket, Yubo and LiveIn. We hope the video format can appeal to a younger audience looking for the next big social media format.
Together is currently only available on iOS, and has a waiting list system. (This link provides access.)