Happy 19th Birthday, Text Messaging!

It’s hard to believe, but it has been just over 19 years since the first text message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone, and 18 years since the first phones were produced that allowed people to send text messages to each other.  In 2011, over 8 trillion text messages were sent, and the average American thumbed out 357 text messages per month!  The numbers are incredible, and the reach is unbelievable.  Text messaging is changing the world – literally.  There are now over 4.2 billion texters worldwide – that’s more than 3 out of every 5 humans on the planet!  Cell phones and texting cut across all socio-economic and geographic boundaries.  Imagine having to charge your phone by using your car battery every night.  The fact is, more than 48 million cell phone users do just that, because they have no household electricity!  Even more astounding, worldwide there are 1.7 billion people who have cell phones, but have no bank account!

Given numbers like that, it’s easy to see that texting plays a prominent role in personal communications across the globe – but the one thing texting is missing is the context that video brings to the conversation.  We can e-mail a video, embed a video on a website and even play a video on demand on our smart phone – but our texting communications are generally limited to just characters and the occasional snapshot.  With texting today, I feel like I’m stuck in time playing Mario Cart, rather than mastering COD Modern Warfare.

It’s about time that texting grows up and joins the video sharing revolution.  I want to add life and motion to my text messages, to better express my thoughts and ideas without the hassle of sending data sucking video via e-mail or to a public social network.  This lit a fire in our belly and sparked a passion that led to the development and launch of Cinegif Video.  It’s the very first app that allows you add a video clip to any text message – up to 10 seconds in length.  Finally, you are able to add life, motion and context to the conversation!

Get the Cinegif Video App FREE in the iTunes app store here.  We hope you like it, and let us know by posting a review in iTunes.

What’s the first video clip that you plan to text, and to whom will it go?

…And the Winner Is – Jim Flynn!

We concluded our Ultimate Cinegif Creator’s Contest on April 30, 2012. We can now proudly announce that the winner of the SONY NEX-7 18-55 Camera, Fotodiox 312AS LED Lighting Kit and Manfrotto mono-pod is Jim Flynn of New Braunfels, Texas! Jim is a working professional photographer – www.jimflynnphoto.com– and a all-around nice guy! He’s a former National Board Director of the ASMP, and his images have appeared in Time, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal. Of course, as you can see in the Cinegif below, he was a little too reserved for us – really not a very demonstrative type of guy, and kind of difficult to read. We think he was pleased to win the great package of camera gear and accessories, but it was hard to tell…

Jim Flynn, Ultimate Cinegif Creator's Contest Winner

Jim Flynn celebrates winning in his own rather reserved, low key way…

We did our best to impress, however. We went out of our way to pick a venue that was appropriate for the solemn, sober, serious nature of the prize presentation. It wasn’t easy to find a place that combined just the right touch of luxury and sophistication with that slick, polished, high-tech look that’s so popular, but I think you can see that we managed to pull it off.

So Congratulations, Jim! We’re looking forward to seeing lots of your work coming our way, now that you have the perfect package to produce video clips for conversion to Cinegifs. For those of you who entered but didn’t win, we want to thank you for trying our technology, and encourage you to keep exploring the possibilities of Quality Video Anywhere. We’re still offering free trials to everyone who registers on our website, and we are more than happy to help you discover just how far you can push the envelope!

We would also like to thank the great folks at Precision Camera, especially Park Street (yes, that really is his name!), in Professional and Group Sales, and Gregg Burger, General Manager, for their continuing support and help.  Park selected the components of the prize package, and put together a truly great set of camera gear. So Thanks, Park – Thanks, Greg – and Thanks to Precision Camera for being such  great resource for photographers!