In our second installment of “social video apps from Norway”, a fun app to have in your pocket is Blink, sort of a Vine-meets-Snapchat-meets-Tinder that came out of Startup Weekend Oslo, the weekend-long hackathon. According to Blink co-founder Martin Jensen, the app has a good founding story:
“We started the weekend making a blogging app where you could subscribe to blogs. It was basically Bloglovin’, but we didn’t discover that Bloglovin’ existed until late night Saturday [leaving one day left in the hackathon]. So we decided to start drinking because that was the only thing we could start to do, and we talked about what we did in our lives. Three of us were single, and we started to talk about how the internet is broken when it comes to meeting people.”
So that night they hacked together quickly was an app where you can show videos to each other and get likes on that – sort of an early idea of Blink. They took the prototype out to some bars and got good feedback by potential users. Hungover the next morning at Startup Weekend Oslo’s pitch day, they ended up coming in second.
The later iteration you of Blink that you see in the app story today allows you to record and send five-second long videos of yourself out into the wide world. These videos can then be consumed by the masses Tinder style, where you see one video at a time and can either like it or dislike it. If you like someone’s video, and they like a video of yours as well, then you’ve made a “friend” in the app and can send them private video messages.
You might think this gives the app a strong dating aspect, but while you can filter between just profiles by men or women, the videos I’ve seen so far are typically just fun and funny. It’s more of a fun app for taking to the bar or music festival to see little glimpses of someone’s life, or to meet people around you.
Blink is location-based (like Tinder you can see how far away the video was taken), and talking to Jensen they’ve got some algorithms on the back end that do more than show you the closest video, although they’re hoping the app will also work great in a festival-type location for meeting people.
The name of the app comes from the book Blink by Malcom Gladwell, which digs into research on how long you need to see someone to get an impression of them, which is apparently eight seconds.
Blink has seen impressive growth since launching, with more than 110,000 seen videos in just a week after launching. The app launched on April 23rd and today has over 200,000 seen videos. From what I’ve seen in the app most of this growth is coming from Norway (making Blink basically a silly Norwegian video generator) but more and more videos are coming from worldwide.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a social app from the north that seems like it has the right “hooks” to blow up, so I say it’s worth the download- you can find it in the app store, here.