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Former Zappos CEO creates Threadlife to share video instantly

Another contender in the social-video space, this iPhone app aims to make capturing and sharing video as easy as tweeting or Instagram.


Threadlife, a new video-sharing app developed by a former Zappos founder, intends to make capturing video as easy as taking a photo -- one three-second clip at a time.

Created by Zappos founder and former CEO Nick Swimurn and his creative guru Ken Martin, Threadlife takes three-second clips, called "stitches," and threads them together to create a montage-like reel of moments. The result is a stream of small moments woven together to form a conversation of sorts.


"Everyone has something that's precious to them, our sense is this is the best way to capture or share memories," Swimurn said.

The app launches today as an invite-only network for the iPhone.

What sets Threadlife apart from other video apps, its creators say, is that its three-second limit eliminates any need for editing, a major obstacle for the success of video-sharing. It's much easier to apply filters on photos to make them look better than it is to edit a long video clip. The three-second clips are more like photos that can be strung together, Martin said.

Essentially, Threadlife is Twitter or Instagram of video-sharing -- there's a fixed format and the sharing is real time.

"Everything that we want to do, we want it to be instant," Martin said.

Even with the three-second clip limit, Threadlife is not designed to be limited, according to Martin, co-founder and chief creative officer of BLITZ Agency, a design company whose include big names like Nike, Starbucks, Adobe, Microsoft, Google and Honda.

There's no limit to how many clips are threaded together, so Martin said he envisions the app being used for public events like the World Series, where fans can record their three-second memories of a great play or the feeling of victory and add it to a thread of other fan commentary. These public threads can be shared through Facebook and Twitter or on the Threadlife network.

Or, Threadlife could be used as a private conversation between friends -- Martin has a string of funny faces made by his kids, himself and his friends -- or as a way for grandparents to watch their grand kids grow up a little bit at a time.

Threadlife could also be used for meme threads or to show off Halloween costumes -- the possibilities are endless, Martin said.

The clips are individual pieces so they can be moved to different threads and viewed by date or by who created them. In a World Series thread, for example, a user could see just the stitches made by friends.

Eventually, the Threadlife team hopes to incorporate tagging and location-specific information, and adding ways to make money off the service, like inserting video ads into threads or charging for extra storage space. Martin said there's also plans to expand to other devices to desktop.

But for now, Swimurn said, they are focused on gaining users and, hopefully, becoming an integral part of how memories are recorded. You can check out the app here.