Mobli seeks to become a visual, social, Google
Visual sharing has become ‘the next big thing’ is social media and tech with Instagram being acquired for $1billion, SocialCam habing 40 million users, Viddy having 28 million. Now there is Mobli too, an app that has gained 2 million users in the last two months, and whose founder has grand aims of creating a visual search engine of photos and videos to rival Google.
It might seem a grand aim, but founder Moshe Hogeg told Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici at Techcrunch Disrupt that he is “trying to building a platform that will eventually give you eyes everwhere”. Hoegog says he also is “not trying to go down the road of being a zero-revenue company that get acquired”, in what seems a clear dig at Instagram.
To achieve the revenue and ability to public that Hogeg desires, they envisage trying a variety of monetization tools. This might include YouTube style advertising on premium content, or Twitter still promoted accounts for brands. Mobli may also allow advertisers to sponsor photo filters and other in-app tools.
Of course, to achieve such success Mobli, in which Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire are both investors, must achieve far greater take-up than it currently has. Hogeg believes that this will come when the service gets five times the 3 million users it currently has. The ambitious entrepreneur believes this can be achieved in between six and eight more months.The success of Mobli is down in no small part to celebrity endorsers putting their money into the company. Notably actor Leonardo Di Caprio, who has decided if you can beat the people paparazzi, join them! Other celebrity investors include Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.
The app is very quick to install and you can signup using Facebook Connect or an email address. You can also link your account to Twitter, and the service works on iOS, Android and Blackberry at a time when too many app makers are forgetting Blackberry, and sometimes Android too. There is also a web based service.
It’s hard to judge whether this is the type of service that will become embedded into people’s sharing, or will be another flash-in-the-pan. Mobli differs from other visual sharing tools like Pinterest, Instagram and Socialcam due to its ability to tag and search by topic or event, and it’s inclusion of facial recognition and tagging software. It is certainly more advanced than those other services, but just as easy to use.
Moshe Hogeg is clearly following the Zuckerburg model, and has already turned down one “very nice offer”. If he can build the user base as he predicts, he may just be on to a winner.