Manhattan-based Ocho thinks it can take on Twitter’s Vine. The startup founded in 2012 by Jonathan Swerdlin and Jourdan Urbach officially launched its eight-second video app on November 12, 2014 to a solid response from potential users.
Ocho had spent the last 24 or so months in beta, where it’s generated generated thousands of video uploads and a $1.65 million seed investment round (led by businessman Mark Cuban). The application’s official launch was accompanied by a content deal with Vice Sports (which is getting into content deals with a lot of apps these days) to exclusively post social and mobile video content on Ocho twice per day.
“Ocho is redefining the way we share our stories through creating a powerful, video-based social network in a way that hasn’t been possible until now,” Cuban said in a statement as reported by Variety.
So how exactly is Ocho different from Vine? For starters, Swerdlin and Urbach wanted to make an app that was a complete video experience in and of itself. “We started with the idea of, What would YouTube look like if it launched today?” said CEO Swerdlin. “There wasn’t a place for sharing HD video easily with your social network.”
Once in the Ocho app, users can watch videos in their feed in a continuous stream without having to click each individual video. The app is also created to capture videos in 16×9 aspect ratio no matter which way a user’s phone is oriented. This means the video will always show fullscreen on every device its played (including HDTVs).
Additionally, the app only allows video replies instead of text to keep the founders’ “video experience” intentions for the app as accurate as possible. Ocho also has volume and brightness control, made-for-video filters, voice-over narration feature, and the ability to embed URLs in video captions. Once a video is created, the app’s users can share that media to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and Google+.
And like its namesake implies, Ocho limits users’ videos to eight seconds. Urbach told Variety studies have shown eight seconds is the “precise attention span for uninterrupted video viewing.” “Videos shorter than 10 seconds are a distinct class from those that are longer,” he said.
“As the popularity of short-form video surges, we see Ocho as a complement to YouTube channels,” Swerdlin added. “This is content capture, versus content creation.”
Ocho has no current plans to monetize the app, but will undoubtedly look at revenue options down the line. Ocho is only available for iPhones in the app store at this time, but Swerdlin says a version for Android is coming in 2015.