Tumblr now is launching a new app, called Cabana, which permits a team of friend to video clip chat and also watch videos together, in actual time. The application is being introduced under the Tumblr brand, and will cater come the form of users who constant Tumblr’s blogging service – teens and young adult – yet it’s not at this time designed to interoperate with Tumblr’s product or take advantage of the currently relationships in between fellow Tumblr users.

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Instead, Cabana come about more through happenstance 보다 strategic direction.

Tumblr founder and also CEO David Karp ran into Jason Lee, manager of Product management at Polyvore Labs, at a Yahoo leadership offsite previously this year, wherein Lee to be demonstrating the product.

Polyvore Labs is an interior incubator inside Yahoo – the agency that obtained both Tumblr and the fashion site Polyvore in years past. (Yahoo is additionally in the process of being obtained by Verizon, which owns princetoneclub.org’s parental company, AOL.) The Labs group includes engineers, designers and product managers from the Polyvore team.

It has arisen other commodities in the society and lifestyle space, however none have ever before made it to a publicly launch, until Cabana.


“It just instantly clicked because that me together this experience that every internet-connect human being has had actually at this point,” defines Karp, of having actually watched the Cabana demo. “You find something significant on the net – the latest viral video that’s hilarious or profound, or that obscure point that means a ton come you – and then you’re dragging your friends over to your computer to watch it,” the says.

That very same sort that thing also happens ~ above Tumblr come some level – people find interesting content and also share it with others.

However, the difference in between the two assets is the Tumblr is essentially a network the strangers who share your understanding – maybe in anime, or art, or part TV show fandom – but Cabana is expected to be used with a group of real-life friends.


If this type of co-watching experience sounds familiar, it’s due to the fact that there’s fairly a bit of action in this room already.

The newly funded iMessage-based video chat application Fam has actually plans come move right into the area of group video viewing, but there are existing apps from others who room doing this together well. We recently covered one of those efforts called Let’s clock It!, an application for the town hall YouTube or Twitch videos v friends.

But truthfully, there space a slew of services for group video clip viewing, consisting of Gaze, MyCircleTV, ShareTube, Togethr TV, Rabbit, Rave, and many, countless more. Also YouTube is trying out in this an are with an app called Uptime.

The co-viewing suffer is also an ext broadly component of the very nice of the more recent live-streaming video clip services, like those from Twitter’s Periscope and also Facebook Live.

So the concern is not really even if it is co-watching is walk to be a point – it’s a thing – but, quite it’s that will victory this thing if this is a thing that is to be won.


How Cabana Works

In Cabana, up to 6 friends can hang out in a “room” in the app, where they share videos native YouTube the they clock together, in real-time and in sync. You can participate in only one room in ~ a time, but you have the right to leave and rejoin rooms freely.

You can add friends by username or upload your deal with book from her phone to discover your friends, climate either create a room come hang out in, or sign up with an currently one. This rooms deserve to be windy or personal – the last by “locking” the room – and you deserve to invite friends to come in by tapping “Hey!”

Once you’re in a room, you’ll discover the tools come lock the room, flip your camera around, mute your mic, include friends, and also search because that videos and share them v the group. Girlfriend can even swap out the right now playing video clip for one more at any kind of time. You can also exit the room come browse her phone when the conversation continues, i m sorry puts friend on “Pause.”

The app was constructed in just two months’ time, states Lee, and also was designed to sell a spontaneous feeling and experience.

“In Cabana, we try to blend the endure of hanging out and also watching,” claims Lee. “We store your face front-and-center in addition to the video. Rather of concentrating on text-based ~ above emoji-based conversations, we provide you friends’ full face and selection of emotions…we think that’s nice unique and also differentiating attribute that permits you to yes, really recreate the suffer of being with each other while you’re apart.”

“The thing I thought was for this reason cool when Jason demoed this is that just it seems so human…they caught this form of hanging the end that so numerous of united state do,” add to Karp.

A brand-new home because that brands ads 

YouTube’s videos are obtainable through an API integration in Cabana, not an main partnership, to be clear.

But assuming this proves popular, Cabana might expand to include videos from other social sources in the future.

Karp watch a route for this, having taken a similar position with regard to live video on Tumblr. The firm had originally considered structure out its own video clip platform and also publishing tools, but later determined it made more sense to work-related with partners, choose YouTube, YouNow, and also others when it came time to move right into the live video an are itself. Cabana could eventually carry out the same.

There’s also overlap through Tumblr once it involves brand advertisements, Karp believes. The brands currently advertising on Tumblr may want to reach a similar, young demographic – those aged 13 with 18 – v the Cabana app. (Over fifty percent of Tumblr this particular day is teens and also millennials, eras 13-34).

But there is not proclaiming in Cabana in ~ launch, no one a definitive arrangement as to how it would be integrated in the future.

While Cabana is the very first standalone social app to arise from Tumblr, it’s no the an initial time Tumblr has tried come branch out into other mobile apps. Back in 2012, it introduced Photoset, a separate app for posting photos to the society web, including Tumblr. (This app was later shut down.)

But despite it’s a separate product, it’s no a pivot because that Tumblr itself. The website today is still active, through over 340 million blogs top top its platform. The firm declined to share its active user base, however one third-party report native early 2016 pegged Tumblr as having actually 23.2 million users here in the U.S. Tumblr is available an international so this is not the complete picture, despite the report did case that it would add fewer customers over the next couple of years 보다 rivals choose Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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The concern for Tumblr is that the means users room connecting this day on mobile is transforming – we’re more likely come message and also chat, 보다 share blog posts. Yet Tumblr cases it has made the mobile transition, saying end 80% of its users accessibility its service on mobile. Still, Cabana could aid Tumblr go into the new era of video clip chatting, if the succeeds.