VSCO, the social media network and photo / video editing app, is rolling out a new feature globally today that it thinks will set it apart from all of the other photo and video sharing apps. Called Montage, the feature allows paying members to edit photo and video together on one canvas, creating a collage effect. They can choose to make their creation in a portrait, landscape, or square aspect ratio and can select from photos or videos in their camera roll to add to their scene. They can then expand that scene into multiple moments, up to two minutes long, so the entire collage changes. The creations save as a .mov file if they involve multiple scenes and moving images, but if they’re just a single scene with stills, they’ll save as a .jpg.
The VSCO team demoed the feature for me last week, and it’s an editing format I hadn’t seen previously done. The look of the content felt familiar, likely because it creates a collage, but other social media apps, namely Instagram, don’t give users the power to edit their content in the same way. The VSCO team says Montage came from user research in which they learned that people used multiple apps to achieve the same effect. They figured they could bring the editing in-app, thereby making the process easier and the resolution of the content higher because it isn’t processed through multiple apps. Given that VSCO’s one of the first mobile apps to try to make this format mainstream, its team hopes people will come to the app and pay for access to Montage.
“We’re hoping, too, that this becomes a new format, defined as a montage, that can reach beyond the ecosystem of VSCO,” says Maggie Carson Jurow, senior product designer at VSCO.
VSCO charges $20 a year for a membership, which also gives subscribers access to additional filters and borders. The team wouldn’t say whether it’s committed to this price, especially now that it’s launching Montage. Instead, it said it’s open to revisiting the conversation, particularly given the research its team has done on pricing.
The team seems to be focused on the idea of nailing their subscription plan and making it worthwhile. Editing tools appear to be how they think they’ll differentiate themselves, and they acknowledge people usually use VSCO to figure out what content they like best, which they then share on Instagram or elsewhere. That’s fine by VSCO, so long as they know to come to the app for the subscriber tools, starting mostly with Montage.