Mobli Media Acquires Content-Sharing Platform Pheed [Interview]

mobli pheed 650Mobli [Left] and Pheed [Right]

Mobli Media, creator of the Mobli content sharing mobile app, has announced it has acquired fellow content sharing platform Pheed, in a cash and stock deal. The terms of the acquisition haven’t been disclosed, but Mobli has announced it will invest $10 million into the “remake” of the Pheed app, which will remain a stand-alone platform.

Mobli and Pheed both offer content-sharing social networks for their users on mobile devices. Mobli allows users to upload pictures, videos and live video broadcasts to the service. User can then add filters and other visual effects to images and videos (along with hashtags and descriptions) and share them with the Mobli community, where views and other stats are tracked going forward.

Similar to services like Instagram, Mobli users can “love” a user’s posts and share comments on content, or follow a user’s channel to see future uploads in their own activity feed. Like Tumblr or Twitter, users can repost another user’s content onto their own feed (keeping the original edits intact), with a link to the original uploader’s profile. Finally, users can follow individual hashtags, seeing all matching content in their feed. Mobli is available for free on iTunes, Google Play and Windows Phone.

Meanwhile, Pheed offers a similar experience, as users can upload videos and images to the social network, as well as text and audio clips. Users can add filters and other effects to images and videos (including text on images), and can share these with others on their Pheed profile. Users can add copyrights to their uploads, and browse others’ content based on hashtags and channel name. Like Mobli, Pheed supports posting comments and “loves” on content, content reposts onto one’s own timeline, and following users to see additional content in their news feed. Pheed also offers a button for “disliking” a particular post (represented by a broken heart).

Pheed goes one step further than Mobli, allowing users to monetize their content on the platform. Once they set their channel to premium, they can choose to charge users anywhere from $1.99 to $34.99 per month for 30 day of access to their content. This switch to premium can be requested by users at any time, but must be approved by the Pheed team before going into effect. Pheed is available to download for free on iTunes and Google Play.

We had a chance to chat with Pheed CEO, Phil Haus, about the Mobli acquisition, and what this means for both apps going forward.

Inside Mobile Apps: Mobli and Pheed offer similar app experiences for users. Was that similarity what first drew Mobli into discussions with Pheed, or was the focus more on Pheed’s content monetization strategies?

Phil Haus: It was a combination of Pheed’s content monetization capabilities and technology and its unique community. In my opinion, the similarities between the apps will lend a helpful hand when introducing the Mobli and Pheed communities to each other.

IMA: Does this acquisition mean Mobli users will receive content monetization options going forward as well?

PH: At Mobli, we’re currently focusing on the recent introduction of free live broadcast, which boasts a unique and seamless user experience. That’s not to say down the line we won’t be exploring opportunities for monetization for Mobli as well – it is likely we will.

IMA: What overall changes will take place in Mobli now, after this acquisition? While we know Pheed will remain a stand-alone product, will the two apps be connected at all going forward?

PH: We’ve recently opened up the Mobli Beach House (now US operations) on Venice Beach.

The house has quite a history: everyone from Jim Morrison, to Nike, to Snapchat have taken residence between those walls, and the creative energy is undeniable. We have things in the works aimed at fusing the entertainment and tech worlds in a way that has never been done before on Silicon Beach.

Although Pheed will stand alone, since we’re joining the Mobli family there will likely be significant shareability between the two apps down the line.

IMA: Mobli has announced it will invest $10 million into the “remake” of Pheed. What will this entail?

PH: We’re currently exploring our options. Pheed has a beautiful UI and was built for a fraction of the $10 million we plan to invest in improving it, so that along with Mobli’s brilliant product team is a promising combination of ingredients for a new and improved version. That’s about all I can say on that subject at the moment.

IMA: Anything else you’d like to add?

PH: I’d just like to thank Pheed’s co-founder OD Kobo and the entire Pheed team for the incredible journey. As to this next chapter – Moshe Hogeg is a true visionary, the team at Mobli is innovative, [and] I am humbled and honored to come on board.