The team behind social video app Beme will join CNN as part of the media giant’s plans to launch a new brand “dedicated to timely and topical video content powered by bleeding edge mobile technology” by summer 2017.
Beme let users create videos up to eight seconds long, which disappeared after viewing. It was different from rivals in that it did not allow users to edit content or add text. Videos were automatically posted to the platform without the ability to preview.
The app will shut down on 31 January.
All 11 Beme employees will join CNN. Led by Beme’s CTO and co-founder Matt Hackett, the development team will build technology for the new company as well as develop mobile video capabilities for CNN’s portfolio of digital properties.
Co-founder Casey Neistat (pictured), a YouTube personality and filmmaker, will join as an executive producer: “We’ll pair his editorial vision and voice with mobile video technology and CNN’s global strength and resources to create a new media brand for a new audience,” CNN said.
“The new company will be devoted to filling the world with excellent, timely and topical video and empowering content creators to use technology to find their voice,” it added.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
In a blog, Hackett explained that “Beme as a single product failed” but “as a vision for the kind of technology and media that must be built is just getting started.”
“We must prevent social media from becoming a barren landscape of echoey trenches. CNN, doubly so with the addition of our team at Beme, will be passionately driving these technologies forward,” he said.
“We are not going to fade into working on a mobile app here, a microsite there. We will build with a wide mandate, combining Casey’s once-in-a-generation media prowess with our team’s killer product and engineering capabilities,” he added.
The Beme team has already built an experimental app with CNN. Called Exit Poll Live, it was downloaded by US voters on election day, and enabled them to stream live to Facebook and explain who they voted for and why.