German character voice-messaging mobile company Zoobe Message Entertainment is aiming to gamify the messaging apps favored by tweens and teens.
Zoobe’s new app StoryGIF allows users to sew together as many as 10 GIFs and send them, through their messaging app of choice, as a single file.
StoryGIF can be used in a number of messaging apps and is automatically integrated into the users’ app drawer once it is downloaded, which means it can be accessed without disrupting the flow of communication.
“A GIF typically behaves a certain way,” says Naz Amarchi-Cuevas, head of Zoobe. “An individual GIF, when you send it, behaves exactly the same way. When it’s part of a story, that tile—once it’s sewn to the other tiles—now behaves differently given the context that it’s being sent under.”
Additional personalization is available through StoryGIF‘s Smart Texting tiles, which allow users to type their own message into a story.
Amarchi-Cuevas believes StoryGIF‘s ability to empower users to customize their conversations is the best way to gamify—and ultimately monetize—messaging.
“Users will purchase additional bundles because you need them to complete the message you’re trying to create,” she says.
Zoobe is working to create further opportunities for monetization, including its premium model advent calendar, which unlocks a new GIF every day. And users who miss a day will be required to pay a small fee in order to unlock that GIF.
The company has partnered with Sanrio to release Mr. Men & Little Miss and Hello Kitty-branded GIFs, and Zoobe is currently looking for licensees to expand its offerings.
Amarchi-Cuevas says StoryGIF is a variation of Zoobe Message Entertainment’s freemium iOS and Android app Zoobe, which allows users to send an array of preloaded original and third-party 3D-animated characters that perform user-recorded voice messages.