After 15 years in business, brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis have developed JibJab Messages, an iPhone messaging app that allows users to send stickers and personalized GIFs (you can put your face on your cat) today.
JibJab started its life as an advertising production company but came to the world’s attention in 2004 when it released an animated satire, animated satire, “This Land is Your Land,” featuring then-presidential candidates John Kerry and George W. Bush singing in harmony. As a result, the brothers now enjoy over 100 million visitors to its website each year and has over 30 million registered users.
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That “proved the dream,” says co-founder Evan Spiridellis. “Two guys can create something to reach a worldwide audience … and we haven’t slowed down since.”
JibJab Messages available today in the App Store
The app arrived to the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store today and gives downloaders 10 free messages. Beyond the ten message start, additional messages cost $0.99 or users can buy a year-long subscription that allows for unlimited use for $18.
“We’re basically taking what we’ve done on e-cards and creating content and tools that are great for messages,” says CEO Gregg Spiridellis.
The brothers began the Venice Beach, CA based company fifteen years ago with $50,000 borrowed from friends and family. Since then, they have raised nearly $18 million in financing and remain a private company that CEO Gregg Spiridellis says is profitable, but won’t and needs not reveal its finances or sales numbers.
The app allows you to insert your face in funny situations where you would normally wouldn’t find yourself and allows users to dress up the image with filters and add text. Your creations can then be sent as an SMS, email, tweet or Facebook post. The CEO believes that the new app has the potential to far exceed the company’s e-card business.
People “message at a higher frequency than special occasions,” says Spiridellis “They use content to communicate and express themselves all day.”
JibJab’s first acquistion
The company recently acquired Make Believe Studios, the company behind the Hello Santa service, which allows kids to “contact” Santa with a smartphone or tablet.
“Sure, in the past we’ve been about political satire and using tech to put your face into our animations,” says Gregg Spiridellis. “But technology can also be used to aggregate a network of performers and deliver personalized live performances. To us, that’s really exciting.”