The GIF-sharing platform Megacool is officially out of beta. Its API can work in mobile games to capture 10-second clips and share directly to Twitter, Facebook, and SMS text message. Starting today, its integration will be available to iOS, Android, and Unity developers.
In a previous interview with GamesBeat, Megacool cofounder and chief operating officer Aurora Klaeboe Berg said that they were looking to help developers solve the problem of expensive user acquisition. Their API enables developers to decide what’s an “emotional moment” — such as when a player wins or gets stuck on a puzzle — and record those moments in GIFs that can be shared from within the game. According to Megacool, players shared over 1 million GIFs in the last year of closed beta and almost 200 developers are on the waiting list to give the integration a try.
“Everyone is trying to make their big updates or launch new games over the next couple of months, so they’re on the store for the Christmas rush when everyone gets new devices and installs new games,” said Berg in a phone call. “A lot of times, that’s when they review the top of the charts to see what’s there. We need to be part of that.”
One of the early beta partners, Candywriter, has been creating mobile games since 2008. Owner Kevin O’Neil owner says that when they tried to get users to share their apps, the conversion rate was extremely low — around 1 percent at the highest. The Megacool integration helped boost that significantly. O’Neil says that an added bonus is that the users they acquired through that method of sharing had a higher retention rate versus organic users.
“Since upgrading our incentivized invite system to Megacool’s referral system, we’ve managed to improve conversion on those shares to around 10 percent,” said O’Neil in an email. “A large component of that value is the GIF attached to each share that illustrates gameplay and entices the recipient to try out the game.”
Berg says that the Candywriter use case is interesting, because the emotional moments they picked were different. Most studios decide to trigger the GIFs when a player wins a level or solves a puzzle.
“We haven’t seen many companies allowing users to share their failure moments, but in one of Candywriter’s games, you were able to share when you were stuck and ask for help. It was really cool to see where people got stuck,” said Berg. She added, “They’ve been able to get a lot of insight into how people actually play their games.”
Berg says that they’re interested in creating a “Snapchat experience.” To that end, they’re planning on adding customization features in the future, such as letting users add their own captions or filters to GIFs before sharing. Though Megacool doesn’t have that functionality at launch time, it will include ARKit compatibility. They’ve been working with some ARKit developers in early beta, and they see their API as an opportunity to easily share augmented reality experiences.
“With AR elements projected onto reality, there are going to be a lot of moments that are highly shareable,” said Berg. “It’s going to be unique to your experience. No one will have the same environment. The physical location you’re in will create something that looks different between the two of us.”
Berg says that they’ll be charging based on the number of shares through their integration, though they also plan to have a promotion where a certain amount of usage will be free. There will also be a lower price tier for indie developers.