Facebook snatches up team from Eyegroove, a musical selfie app

The team from a startup called Eyegroove, a “musical selfie” app, has joined Facebook. According to a message on the company’s website, most of the small team who worked on the app will now be focused on building new experiences for Facebook users that will help them to “create, share and connect.”

Founded in late 2013, the Eyegroove application was the brainchild of Scott Snibbe, an interactive media artist who worked on Bjork’s Biophilia app, acquired by MoMA. Eyegroove was aimed at helping users make their own, high-quality videos using their smartphone. As Snibbe explained in a 2014 interview, the idea behind Eyegroove was to be an “Instagram for interactive music.”

eyegroove-2-ws-385editLaunched to the public a couple of years ago, Eyegroove worked with SoundCloud, allowing users to make 19-second videos for any of the songs on SoundCloud’s service. It offered a social networking component, as well, where users could share their “Grooves,” as these videos were called. These Grooves could include special effects like a kaleidoscopic view, for example, or other video filters.

However, in the years since its launch, Eyegroove was overshadowed by other social video apps, including Dubsmash and Musical.ly, the latter which recently raised a whopping $100 million at a $500 million valuation. Meanwhile, Eyegroove failed to get traction.

Its last ranking on the iTunes App Store before being removed was in the low 500’s within the “Music & Video” category, according to data from App Annie. It wasn’t ranked on any other charts. Sensor Tower estimates it to have around 250,000 downloads.

Eyegroove was backed by $3.5 million in seed funding from a range of angel investors, including Matt Papakipos, Roger McNamee, Amarjit Gil, and Bill McLean, as reported by CrunchBase and on the Eyegroove website.

While the team is joining Facebook, we understand that this is more of an acqui-hire – Facebook did not buy the company, the tech or IP. It’s more about bringing in talent who can help with the development of more creative tools on the site, but not necessarily those that would be a direct answer to Musical.ly.

The move – which took place within the last week – comes at a time when Facebook is ramping up its efforts in the video space, with Facebook Live, its Periscope competitor, and integrations between its acquisition MSQRD and the social network itself, announced earlier today.

A note from Snibbe on the startup’s website explains that the app is shutting down, and thanked its users for the “amazing community.” It also confirms that much of the team is joining Facebook.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 3.54.20 PM

The startup had a small team of under a dozen according to AngelList and LinkedIn. (No one has yet to update their LinkedIn profiles to indicate they’re now at Facebook.) Along with the Eyegroove team, founder Scott Snibbe is also going to Facebook.

Emails to Snibbe were not returned. Other messages to the Eyegroove domain bounced. Facebook declined to comment.

Source by techcrunch

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