CNN seizes Casey Neistat’s video-sharing app, Beme

Hoping to appeal to a younger audience, CNN has acquired the social video-sharing app Beme, which was notably designed by YouTube star Casey Neistat. Beme, which lets you quickly shoot and upload four-second videos, will be shut down, reports The New York Times. Neistat and the other 12 app employees will be working on a new project for CNN that will begin next year. While the app has only received around 1.2 million downloads, the deal primarily appears to be a way for CNN to bring Neistat on board, a successful YouTube personality who has managed to cultivate a desirable millennial following. .

“By joining forces with CNN, we’re able to give our mission more than just a kickstarter budget,” Beme CTO and co-founder Matt Hackett wrote in a blog post. “We’re going to crumble and create something new. To do that with the full attention it deserves, we have to say goodbye to Beme.”

Beme started out as a competitor to Snapchat with a unique hook: Instead of holding your phone to take videos, you just need it on your chest. The app would then shoot a four-second video clip and upload it to your followers, without any manipulation on your part. It was an attempt to make video sharing even easier than Snapchat, but Beme failed to find much traction beyond Neistat’s loyal followers. While it’s unclear what Neistat’s CNN project would be, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his team working on an app for the network’s iReport citizen journalism initiative.

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Shirley K. Rosa