Nocam unveils a social video app that is like BeReal meets TikTok challenges

A brand new social video app referred to as Nocam has a radical thought to make social networking extra genuine — it’s turning off the digicam so you possibly can’t see the way you look whereas filming. The thought is to make capturing a second really feel pure whereas decreasing the friction that comes with seeing a preview of your personal picture, which may typically go away customers hesitant to publish or scrambling so as to add edits and filters to the touch up their look.

Nocam believes this idea higher displays the way in which individuals work together in actual life, the place we aren’t faced by a mirror that exhibits us what we seem like, that’s.

“ what you’re pointing at — why do it’s essential to see this preview?,” asks Nocam’s co-founder and CEO Justin Spraggins. “The second you’re taking a look at what you’re about to seize, you get stuffy about it,” he says. “You’re now framing it — it doesn’t really feel prefer it actually is. You’re now performing in no matter method to create content material.”

Picture Credit: Nocam

The thought for Nocam developed from the startup’s (Snack Break) earlier efforts with cellular social networking.

Initially, the staff launched a short-form video app called Popcorn, which aimed to make work communications extra enjoyable by letting customers document quick messages, or “pops,” that could possibly be shared in lieu of longer emails, texts or Slacks. However along with going through steep competitors from bigger rivals like Loom, the staff realized they weren’t well-equipped to focus on the enterprise market.

Spraggins’ background is within the shopper world, having beforehand labored on apps Looksee and Unmute; most lately, he co-founded 9 Count, makers of Wink and others.

“We failed quick and have been like, this simply doesn’t really feel like us,” Spraggins explains of the pivot away from Popcorn.

As a result of the staff had stayed lean, they have been ready to make use of their present fundraising to experiment with different app ideas. Final fall, for instance, they have been testing Peek, a photograph widget app much like Locket that had additionally eliminated the digicam. However after preliminary checks and a small-scale rollout that reached solely round 10,000 lively customers, the staff shifted their focus to video as an alternative.

Picture Credit: Nocam

To make use of Nocam, customers first authenticate with their cellphone quantity and permit the app to entry their deal with e-book to seek out pals, much like different social apps. You’ll then obtain your first immediate to document a video. The entire idea in Nocam is round being prompted to document — however initially, the prompts shall be system-driven. As you add extra pals, you possibly can obtain prompts from them as nicely.

So, for instance, Nocam would possibly immediate you to do a sure dance as a problem, spin in a circle or simply publish what you’re as much as proper now. The prompts will embody a random audio clip, and, if you begin recording, the digicam is blurred out. Clips are solely a most of eight seconds in size to maintain filming fast. Customers can also add a caption after which press publish to share it with their community — it’s not a direct message again to the pal that shared it with you.

After you publish the video, you possibly can see which pal prompted you to document or if it was a system-generated immediate. Associates can touch upon movies which might be posted and customers can export their recordings to publish on different social networks in the event that they select.

Picture Credit: Nocam

Like BeReal, Nocam will ship challenges at the least as soon as per day, however you can also get challenges from pals at any time. However whereas the app permits you to flip the digicam, it doesn’t document from each cameras directly, as BeReal does.

Nonetheless, the app has a really BeReal-like feel and look, even providing a calendar of your Nocam reminiscences to look again by.

“We expect it’s very very like BeReal meets TikTok,” Spraggins says, noting the way it combines each the system set off present in BeReal with TikTok challenges, however in a extra friend-centered app. Whereas which will really feel a bit spinoff, it’s price noting that BeReal has been losing steam — latest information from Sensor Tower point out that BeReal’s month-to-month downloads have been slipping. As well as, each day utilization has dropped 61% from its peak, down to six million customers in March versus 15 million in October, Apptopia information discovered.

Which will sign that merely posting random pictures of each day life is reaching its expiration level. Nocam’s differentiator to give attention to video challenges might entice an identical demographic to BeReal whereas giving them one thing to truly do.

Picture Credit: Nocam

The app has been closely advertising and marketing itself on TikTok and Instagram, the place it goals to attraction to a youthful demographic. Although initially pitched to Gen Z school college students, the goofy nature of its challenges seems to have attracted a barely youthful, excessive schooler crowd, the place customers might have the need to attach with pals, however are sometimes not really with them out in the actual world, as they’re in school.

Due to its 13+ score, the app provides the flexibility for customers to report others in the event that they make inappropriate challenges or publish terms-violating content material. If a person is reported for his or her problem, they’re banned from making their very own challenges within the app. As well as, their violating content material could be taken down, and the person who reported them won’t ever see that individual’s content material once more (and vice versa, in a double block).

The startup is a staff of three co-founders — together with additionally CTO Ben Hochberg, beforehand a lead developer at 9 Depend, and Gen Zer Sarah Tran, at present attending The Wharton Faculty at UPenn. The corporate earlier raised pre-seed funding of $400,000 from Basic Catalyst and Dream Machine to check its totally different app ideas. After right now’s official Nocam launch, it plans to lift a seed spherical.  

Nocam is iOS-only for now and is a free obtain. The corporate doesn’t at present have a income mannequin so there are not any subscription charges or in-app purchases in the interim.

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