Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Tim Campbell, the Founder, CEO at GiftCast about GiftCast
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
Our idea started out as a wedding gift registry that was similar to GoFundMe. We wanted to create a way for people to give cash for wedding gifts that couples could use whenever and wherever they want. However, through research and feedback from investors, we learned that our video messages were our most unique feature and they created a more emotional and personal connection for a giving a cash gift. Videos have become one of the top ways people like to communicate and consume information, whether that is online or on social media. So, we decided to pivot and create a new generation of gifting that combines video messaging with cash payments. It's the perfect gift for any occasion you can think of such as birthdays, holidays, weddings, graduation, teacher appreciation, or even just because.
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
In the future we will be rolling out updates to the camera. Currently, we just use features that are available on the native phone. Soon, our users will be able to create more of a video production with editing, music, and AR facial recognition. We believe these new features will enhance the overall experience.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
The most rewarding aspect is that after the long journey we took to create the app, that we have so many people who have used it and liked it. It confirms that all special care and late nights that we put into it were worth it.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
I don't know if it's the coolest, but definitely was innovative. The feature that took us the longest to create was the ability to send money to someone without them knowing it. Sure, peer to peer transfers existed with apps like Venmo and PayPal, but we didn't want the receiver to receive the money prior to receiving their GiftCast, and that did not exist. So, we had to create a platform where money is transferred with the video, and once the video is viewed the received can withdraw the funds to their bank account for use whenever and wherever they want.
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
What surprised us most was how quickly technology changes. It felt like every time we made some progress there would be a new app feature, framework, or interface that would give us pause and want to make a change to our app. For example, React wasn't around when we first started building app on a cross-platform framework. It seemed like every 6 months there was a new release that caused us to have rebuild our interface. Unfortunately, it caused multiple delays and budget increases.
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
Technology that has inspired us are new payment channels like SMS and cryptocurrency. Also, most inspiring recently are apps like TikTok. It's amazing how user-friendly the interface is to make and edit videos. My 10-year old daughter can create stunning videos that would have taken a videographer years in school to learn to do.
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
Do your research on who you choose an app developer. It's so important to find competent partners who understand your vision. Ask to speak with their customers, read reviews, and test out previous apps they have created. Picking the right partner will save you time and money in the long run.
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
We released our app simultaneously on iOS and Android. We do not plan on releasing on other platforms at this time. However, our app currently only works on mobile phones and we are working on a release for tablets.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
We are different than other apps that create greeting cards or allow you to send gift cards to stores or restaurants. GiftCast provides a platform for people to send a gift message expressed in their own words, through video, along with money they can use to buy whatever they want or need. Recipients will receive a text message to watch the video and withdraw the funds directly to their bank account. Videos can be viewed forever on the app, saved to smartphone or tablet devices, or even shared on social media.
You can view GiftCast here
For more information, visit: https://www.giftcast.me/