Vimeo Acquires Echograph App, Enters Animated GIF Market
February 15, 2013

Vimeo Joins The Animated GIF Market With Echograph Purchase

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Vimeo announced on Thursday that it has acquired Echograph, the popular iPhone and iPad app that offers users the ability to create videos that look like animated GIFs.

The app had previously sold for $2.99, but will now be available for free at the Apple iTunes App Store, said Vimeo, which purchased the app from El Segundo, California-based Clear-Media.

The company did not disclose specific terms of the deal, but confirmed it has hired members of Echograph´s team, including the app´s creator, Nick Alt, who will report directly to Vimeo President Dae Mellencamp.

"We chose Echograph because it helps people easily create beautiful high-quality video content," said Kerry Trainor, chief executive of Vimeo, in a statement.

"That, with Nick's proven track record of building innovative video apps, made it a perfect fit for Vimeo."

Alt will transition from his role as Clear-Media´s Chief Executive to Vimeo's Vice President of Mobile, where he will oversee development of the app across all mobile platforms.

"Vimeo to me is the most innovative video platform that empowers its users to share quality content," said Alt.

"I'm very excited for our teams to come together to take Echograph to the next level and develop a new fleet of amazing mobile video apps."

An Echograph is a photograph that contains small segments of animation. Users create the files by selecting a video, trimming it to 5 seconds, and choosing a single still frame from the clip. Users then paint over an area of the still frame with a moving element from the video, creating an image with traces of animation.

Vimeo is only the latest entrant to the GIF and short-video market, which is quickly becoming a crowded field. Last month, Twitter unveiled its Vine app, which lets users create six-second videos that can be shared via social media.

The popularity of GIF files has grown considerably in recent months as a growing number of users embrace Tumblr, where GIF files are frequently shared.