If you love animated cartoons and social media, FlickerLab, an animation and app developer, may have developed the perfect messaging software for you.
FlickerLab is releasing Animgram, a new rich-media messaging application for touchscreen devices that allows users to send text or audio messages embedded in fully animated voice-synched cartoon avatars.
FlickerLab is betting that Animgram will be attractive to young consumers looking for a new way to send distinctive, animated digital messages to friends, or to post on social media sites. The company is looking to work with publishers and other companies to use Animgram in films, books, and apps, as well as in social media marketing campaigns. FlickerLab is also hoping to license Animgram’s library of animated characters, and to acquire rights to well-known branded characters to add to its own inventory of animated avatars.
Animgram offers three types of digital cartoons that can be transmitted as messages: emojis, the ubiquitous cartoon faces and characters affixed to texts or emails; animated emojis, fully animated short cartoons; and Animgrams, cartoon characters that are embedded with easy-to-activate animation that lip-synchs to the user’s audio messages. Animgram characters are easily the most unusual of the three. Animgram users can pick from a library of hundreds of original characters designed for the app and activate the animation embedded in the avatar by swiping it in different ways. Users can even use their own photos as backgrounds for the Animgram characters.
Animgram is the result of more than 15 years of software development by FlickerLab. The company focused on “creating tools that make animation easy to use,” said FlickerLab founder Harold Moss. “We want animation to be a common form of communication that anyone can use.” Based in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, FlickerLab has produced more than 150 multimedia children’s titles for Barnes & Noble and produced animated TV shows for PBS, the BBC, and other networks. The multimedia content developer specializes in creating entertainment content with an educational component, according to Carla Seal-Wanner, FlickerLab’s director of educational content.
Moss said Animgram will be used to promote Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2, the sequel to a 2011 documentary by Joe Cross, about how he lost 100 pounds going on a 60-day juice diet. Cross has also written a series of titles about juice and health. Animations of Cross and others from the film will be added to the Animgram library to promote the sequel, which is being released in November. The company is also working with Herbert Ginsburg, a noted professor at Teachers College at Columbia University who specializes in teaching math to young children. FlickerLab will create Animgram characters based on Ginsburg’s Monster Music Factory series of children’s digital books, which will be released via the Speakaboos platform as well as a separate series of standalone apps.