Interview with Hagit Katzenelson – VP of Marketing of eSnips Ltd.
Below is an interview with Hagit Katzenelson – Vice President of Marketing of eSnips Ltd. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out! http://esnips.com/signin/index.jsp
TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?
eSnips: eSnips is a one stop and social media site that makes it simple for mainstream people to share their interests, passions or creations online. Additionally, we take it one step further beyond sharing and socializing, so people can easily sell and promote their creations online, all in one central location. Unlike many social media sharing sites, eSnips allows users to share every file type, not just photos, videos or links. From a single account, you can share things such as your thoughts, stories, artwork, photos, music, kids’ videos, flash files, presentations with business colleagues, party or vacation photos with friends, web research and tidbits you find on the web and more.
TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?
eSnips: Today, if you want to share content that is important to you, you need to go to several social media and sharing platforms to do so, whether it is a photo sharing site like PhotoBucket or flickr, YouTube for videos, del.icio.us for tagging, or a blog for writing. This can become overwhelming and time consuming. Blogs tend to be one dimensional, photo and video sharing sites revolve around shared images and as for other data types, there is no one centralized location where you can store your valuable information and share it with others in an easy cohesive way.
Unlike these sites, eSnips allows you to share every file type, more than just photos, videos or links. You can create your own web space with content you decide to share or keep private. eSnips is the one place on the Web for any and all digital content. eSnips offers one account that allows you to share anything with anyone – giving you options on who and how you want to share with. You can create as many folders as you like, each for a different topic. Then you can decide what audience can view each folder. No other content-sharing site allows you such flexibility in publishing your media, and no other site offers you multiple environments, so that you can share who you want with whoever you want. eSnips creates the community around you and your content – by bringing like minded people who share your interests to you.
TechAddress: What are some of the main features?
eSnips: eSnips provides one free online place for all your sharing needs. You can create different folders to match your needs and decide which audience is allowed to view that folder. For example, you can share photos and home videos with your family, share your karaoke covers with the world, share presentations with your colleagues and clients, collect web research but keep it private, sell your artwork in a public folder, keep your important business files handy when you travel and only you can access them. Each folder will automatically become a web site, after which you can upload any file type to that folder. Also, there is no limit on the number of folders (i.e. sharing environments) that a user can manage.
Also, we added ecommerce capabilities to eSnips so that users can decide if they want to sell their creations. We’ve seen people sell greeting cards, unique saris and beautiful paintings on eSnips. As I mentioned below, we launched onsite audio/video creation at Demo and we’ve seen many of our users record an introduction to themselves and their folders already.
TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?
eSnips: eSnips is designed for anyone who has anything they care about that they want to contribute, share with others or sell – such as home movies you want to share with family members or a hobby with others who share the same interests. eSnips creates a community around your passions by making it easy to find others and for others to find you.
Many social media and sharing sites target vertical market niches or young adults, i.e., an extremely high percentage of FaceBook and MySpace users are under the age of 25. eSnips is designed for everyone, and is extremely attractive for those older than 25 who may not want to start a blog or spend the time to join several sites in order to share different file types with friends, family and business colleagues.
TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?
eSnips: We just launched the ability for users to generate both audio and video recordings onsite, which allow any user with a webcam or microphone to create their own rich media files. Recording either a voice or video file is simplified to the point where a user does not need to worry about media formats or playback compatibility. Users can add a video or audio recording to any folder, with the same ease that they upload files today. It is also easy to add a rich media introduction on their profile, an introduction to each of their folders, and even leave audio/video comments in other members’ files. We’ve already seen many users who have created such introductions to themselves and their profiles on eSnips.
Our next step is to support our growing topic-centered communities with mini-portals. For example, our karaoke community will get a dedicated mini-portal on karaoke.esnips.com. The mini portal will include dynamic social content the recent people that joined the karaoke community, latest files, most “favorited” users and songs and so on. Expanding our existing user base and communities will extend our reach and get our existing customers to use eSnips in new and diverse ways. This will help spread the word about eSnips’ value and the adoption.
TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?
eSnips: We truly believe that one day soon, social publishing will be as commonplace as email. Because our appeal to the mainstream audience, we fill a big gap between the teen-oriented social networks and the impersonalized vertical sharing sites. We think that we have the potential to become the one place people go to for online sharing.”
TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?
eSnips: On occasion we’ve received reviews and feedback from users who believe that our “one place for all your sharing” approach is wrong. The usual examples are that flickr is the place for sharing pictures, YouTube is for sharing videos, delicious is for sharing links, and so on. But we really believe that users will want to share everything in one place, and organize their sharing by topic, not by file type. Also, by sharing different files on different platforms, the user’s online “identity” becomes scattered on different content-sharing sites, making it difficult to view the user’s true profile.
TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?
eSnips: Our CEO and Co-founder Yael Elish recently said that for her, it’s important to be able to think independently, and not to automatically imitate what works for others just because it works for them. It is important to focus on what’s most important at a particular point in time, to focus on what has been successful for us, hone it and to execute well on all fronts. It is important that this be the mindset of our entire team. You will not get very far without an excellent team and an aligned mindset.
TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?
eSnips: Our mission is to bring social sharing to the mainstream audience, and to get everyone to share their passions and interests online. eSnips is a one-stop sharing and social media site that represents numerous aspects of you, your interests and passions. With eSnips, in one space, you can publish and share any media type on all the topics you care about with others.
TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?
eSnips: eSnips received Angel financing from Gemini Israel Funds and other private investors.
TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date?
eSnips: eSnips launched its Beta in March 2006.
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