Create video albums & invite others to collaborate

Would you recommend this product?
No reviews yet
Today we're releasing Ferris and announcing that I led the funding in the company in our seed round of $2 million. As a VC (especially based in LA), I see hundreds of video apps. This accelerated after I led the seed & A rounds at Maker Studios, which sold 3 years later for $1 billion to Disney. When I met the Ferris team and heard their vision it stood out both technically and from a necessary use-case I believed always needed to be solved. First, when we create videos (concerts, weddings, tech events, sports, kids) they often stay stranded on our devices and at best make it to iCloud. Ferris has built an elegant way to pull all of your videos into the cloud and accessible only to you. Second, the idea is that if you have your videos in the cloud you can create "stories" that are fragments of full video that you shot. If you were at Coachella or Burning Man and shot video people probably don't want to watch 15 45-second clips. But if you could weave the best 8 seconds of 10 of the videos into an "album" it would be more interesting. The product allows viewers to easily scroll through your video album or story without having to watch the full video and if they find it interesting they press the button to consume it. Third. Where Ferris really shines is collaboration. While we believe the product is perfectly suited for stand-alone sharing of your video albums it is 10x value when others hare with you. Why? Imagine being at Burning Man and 10 of your Burners shot video. What happens to it all (aside from the videos nobody wants shared!?!)? Imagine if your friends could all contribute the Burning Man 2015 album and create a group story. Imagine as a parent if 10 dads or moms shot video at a soccer game or birthday party. Or if at your wedding all your guests could submit their videos before, during and on their way home from the event and you could create wedding albums told from the perspective of all your guests. That is Ferris. Capturing your moments of life and sharing them in a cohesive story vs. the video fragments shared on social media that don't form a permanent collection or worse yet your most precious moments trapped on your phone. This is v1 but built with love. We hope you'll like it. And we look forward to your feedback. As with most products, eliminating features has been our most valuable exercise.
Upvote (23)Share
@msuster This looks excellent - having followed Mark for a while now, I'll be paying close attention to Ferris. Downloading now and will come back with some feedback.
@msuster congrats! Will try it. Having worked on Seesmic for 7 years I have one issue with all those products: people don't have that much interesting stuff to video regularly. I guess teenagers probably.
Upvote (10)Share
@loic This is the exact reason why we made Ferris. Existing video platforms are all about viral content so these other "uninteresting" videos get pushed to the side. The stuff that people capture regularly (their kids playing at the park, etc.) IS INTERESTING but only for the engaged audience that loves that content (family, close friends, etc.) Ferris is about bringing those personal videos from the shadows and giving them a home as well. Whether it is vacation videos, every day family life, or rebuilding a classic car with fellow motor heads, Ferris is about capturing all moments and sharing those with the people who matter to you.
Upvote (16)Share
@rrhoover To answer your question as to where the idea originally came from, my background is in film and music video directing. We had the idea originally when I was working in Austin and was at a concert. I looked over the crowd of people and saw the sea of phones stuck in the air recording the event and thought "I wonder what people are going to do with all the video they shoot ...and what their perspective of the experience was." And that's how it started. A few of my buddies (4 cofounders) got together to figure out how we could make it super easier to remember these experiences in an engaging, mobile-first way and also have the ability to experience it collectively. The first time I knew that we had something truly special with Ferris was at a buddy's wedding shortly after we had an MVP together. We were all using the app and people actually started adding videos to a wedding story the week before the event even happened (something I didn't expect initally) saying how excited they were to be coming, looking forward to seeing everybody, hoping the groom doesn't faint :) etc. The actual "day of" people were continuing to add videos to the story and the bride and groom actually got to watch the story of their wedding AT THE RECEPTION and got to see the things they missed (the mad dash to get the forgotten ring, the flower girl's tauntrum, my buddy's horrible dance moves). The newlyweds were laughing and crying the whole time. It made me so happy that this little idea we had could have such a big impact on people I care so much about.
Upvote (13)Share
I might be biased because I helped design this app :), but its awesome and a great way to share videos with family. I have a couple of kiddos and the silly moments / things I don't want to spray all over social networks work perfectly in Ferris.
Upvote (12)Share
@aub thanks for the comment! We are getting INCREDIBLE responses on the design. You are the Da Vinci of mobile UI.
Upvote (10)Share
@paulsolt Great product, congrats! I was very surprised by how fast a video was uploaded. Can you tell us a little about the technology behind Ferris? Also, how did you come up with the name Ferris?
Upvote (11)Share
@paulsolt @shapob Hey Oleg! CTO here, lots going into the tech as you can imagine :). Working with video on a mobile device (and even your desktop, to an extent) is harder than photo for many reasons (filesize, network, difficulty in editing), so we set out to build our platform on the basis that video should be JUST AS fast and easy as photos. Some of the major efforts we’ve innovated on include optimizing the upload pipeline, video preview/scrubbing (try swiping your finger on a video in Ferris), and playback optimization — all with mobile in mind. To see video content on a mobile device, we use less data than anyone else to bring you that experience. Getting into the weeds here, our platform stores all of your video assets separately in the cloud, and when somebody engages them we storyboard/composite/render those videos in real-time on the device. All of this happens instantly and seamlessly, creating the same level of fluidity in video that you get from using your favorite photo app. To us, speed is not just a feature — it’s the key to enabling people to shoot and share more video no matter what platform or network they are on.
Upvote (17)Share
Your first hunt, @msuster. 😉 The "collaborative stitching" of videos together reminds me of Snapchat Stories, which I've found to be particularly unique. Rarely do new products feel "new". How has Snapchat inspired Ferris and where did the idea originally come from, @pbouk?
Upvote (10)Share
@msuster @pbouk Great job on this. Paul, what's next? Any plans for an Android app or will you just wait until you've perfected the experience on iOS?
Upvote (10)Share
@msuster @rrhoover Great question, Ryan! We originally launched the beta version of Ferris to the App Store in July 2013, 4 months before Snapchat released the Stories feature. We love Snapchat Stories and enjoy that they too see the power of using video to connect people. Ferris, like Snapchat, has been able to stitch together moments from your life and easily share that with the people that matter to you. Snapchat is primarily for stories that you only want to live for 24 hours. Ferris is for those stories that you want to be able to have and remember for longer. Snapchat recently added the feature where you can download and save Your Story so it doesn't get thrown out at the end of the day but most of those Stories are now just sitting on people's phones doing nothing.....until now. You can upload those Stories to Ferris and make use of them again...along with any GoPro, Vine, Periscope, etc. videos as well. We are the glue between all of these fragmented video platforms where you can have one cohesive story no matter what app or hardware you like to capture that moment with.
Upvote (15)Share
@erictwillis Thanks Eric! We're getting great feedback and usage from everyone so far. Lots of emails from people telling us how happy they are to see their lost memories again. Awesome! Android is definitely on our radar. It's the bulk of mobile OS usage in the world. We're just getting some great talent on board to help us expedite this. That being said, we're laser focused on having a great experience no matter what platform (Android, web, etc.) we're on. We have lots of great things coming down the pike for the iOS app and others!
Upvote (13)Share