With the deadline for entering the 12th annual Meffys fast approaching (17th July 2015 – get yours in quick!) we are taking a look at some of last year’s winners to find out what winning a Meffy meant to them and what they’ve been up to since.
This week, 2014’s winner of the Social and Entertainment category – the hugely popular Bitstrips – fill us in on what they’ve been busy with this year, as we meet co-founder and CEO Jacob Blackstock.
What did Bitstrips win a Meffy for?
“Our customizable comics also blend social and entertainment in a novel and unusually effective way that people have responded to, making Bitstrips one of the most viral apps of all time.”
Bitstrips allows users to create an avatar version of themselves and their friends and put them in fun and hilarious comics that can be shared within the app, social networks or directly through text, IM and email. The Bitstrips mobile apps launched in the fall of 2013 and exploded in popularity around the world, transcending culture, language and geography. In just two months over 30 million avatars were created rocketing Bitstrips up the charts to the number one spot in over 40 countries and the number one entertainment app in over 90 countries.
Why do you think the judges picked your entry?
Digital communication has become a central part of our lives, but there isn’t much innovation in the space. With Bitstrips, we think the judges saw an app that introduced an original and genuinely new form of communication.
People use their Bitstrips avatars as a medium of expression – a dynamic digital identity that not only looks like them, but acts like them too.
Our customizable comics also blend social and entertainment in a novel and unusually effective way that people have responded to, making Bitstrips one of the most viral apps of all time.
What have you been up to since winning the Award?
We’ve been busy with the development of our second mobile app, Bitmoji, which launched in October 2014. It lets you use your Bitstrips avatar as a personalized emoji in virtually any chat app. Mobile messaging is supposed to feel personal, but most chat windows look identical – simple text with standard emojis. Bitmoji turns your chat experience into a unique, personal space populated with the faces of people you care about. We’ve had an amazing response to the app so far, with millions of users around the world, including many big A-list celebs (Katy Perry, Jessica Alba, Seth Rogen, Patrick Stewart, Victoria Beckham and more).
What are your plans for the year ahead?
With the continued success of the Bitmoji, we’ve had the chance to work with some of our favorite entertainment brands. We recently released bitmojis based on HBO’s hit shows “GIRLS” and “Silicon Valley,” and a theme pack for Disney-Pixar’s new movie “Inside Out.” We’re continually improving the app, adding new features and fresh content. Stay tuned for more exciting partnerships this summer!
Judged by expert panels of international journalists, analysts, academics and VCs, the Meffys, supported by F-Secure, provide companies and innovators with an unrivalled opportunity to be considered for the global mobile industry’s top accolades. With categories covering Apps, Consumer Trust, Enterprise, FinTech, mHealth, Mobile-First Markets and Consumer First, the 2015 Meffys reflect the broadening mobile ecosystem. Deadline for entries is 17th July 2015 – enter now!