The following interview is with the co-creator of VidBit.
1) Tell us a little bit about your company and how you got into developing iPhone/iPad apps.
My name is Cameron Oelsen and I am co-creator of a small iOS application company called RumbleApps. My partner and I, Antony Basta, work completely out of our homes and barely see each other. We work during the late hours at probably 10PM - 1AM over video chat. We haven't seen each other in the last four years in person except for an interview with iPhone Life Magazine. We started our company at the beginning of our high school careers, probably around June of 2009. The reason Antony and I came together to make RumbleApps was because of the shared sense of passion and emptiness of essential apps on the App Store. We first found this shared passion while doing a math project in 8th grade. Together we have been pushing the boundaries on our abilities to create the absolute best apps possible.
2) What makes your VidBit app stand out from similar apps?
What makes VidBit stand out from other similar apps is that there is nothing like it on the App Store. We were puzzled by this and couldn't believe nobody had made this before. There has been a few apps like Kik and other video messaging solutions, but nothing that has utilized the growing interest in restricted amounts of plays. This enables users to say or do things that they wouldn't usually do in person. Or share a special moment with family and friends easily and fast. The possibilities with the app are endless really. Like Antony and I send a VidBit to each other every night where we slap someone on the face. It seems stupid, but really is very funny when you see it.
3) What's the thought process behind the "classroom safety" feature? Did you really have students in mind when creating this app?
With the "classroom safety" feature we have put in is completely intentional and reflects both Antony and I's personal wants in the app. I, personally, am very frustrated when I am sneaking my phone in class and trying to watch content, and it all of a sudden makes everyone around me look at my phone. We wanted to ease this frustration with VidBit so you can use VidBit to capture moments in class as well. We have received great feedback from users on this feature, and we really did build this feature in with students in mind.
4) What would be the target audience for VidBit and why?
The target audience for VidBit has to be the 13-24 age range, but my parents VidBits me when they go out or to the beach. I feel the age range of 13-24 is our prime target audience because word of mouth between teens and young adults happens much faster than others. The fact that they are with their peers almost every day ( high school and college ) means that anything new to someone will surely spread to more within 24 hours. This has enabled us to keep traction and lead in the video messaging market.
5) What were some of the reasons behind the latest app update?
With VidBit 1.0.2, we have expanded our servers to enable more users to enter our service and made it much smoother and easier to use. Because of so much initial hype, we actually had major server issues and still continue to work on our reliability. Since we are a small company comprised of two 17 year olds, it is hard to build a very reliable social network experience that doesn't cost us more than our budget allows.
6) What was the thought process behind focusing your company's app development on practical apps for everyday use?
Our thought process to create new apps is simply comprised of a need, from either Antony or I, for an app that does not exist on the App Store. We also take a day to reflect on the idea to see if the idea is really usable for most users.
7) Can you tell us a little bit about any apps that your company might be releasing in the near future?
Currently, we have no ideas for new apps, but I feel that we will continue working on VidBit and making it the service that it should be. I feel within the next year will be the biggest year for RumbleApps, and I know great things will come of us.
8) What's some of the general feedback you have received from users about VidBit?
We have gotten both positive and negative feedback. When the service works for users, they rave about it. When our servers don't respond and don't allow the service to work, then their response isn't so great. It varies but mostly positive.
9) Did you have to make any changes or updates when Apple's iO6 came out?
With iOS 6 we did update all of our apps, and for some of our apps (VidBit and SleepMe) we added in-app purchase to enable users to unlock more features if desired.
10) Other than your own apps, what is your favorite app?
My personal favorite app is PaperHelper. The app reflects both Antony and I in full. That app took us a good 8 months to make, and we put forth our full effort and it has paid off. PaperHelper is used within many colleges across the US, and abroad, and educational institutions love it. We have gotten responses from many teachers across the nation that love the idea and thank us for making it possible on the iPad.