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AOL’s photo-based messaging app Kanvas gets its own SDK

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AOL’s Kanvas messenger service has thrown open its software development kit (SDK) that will let third-party developers integrate its photo and video editing features into their own apps.

Kanvas, a product of Kanvas Labs, was acquired by AOL in 2015. It’s primary feature includes taking photos that are altered by various filters (themed on weather, horror,etc), animated GIFs, stickers and emoji available and then shared to one’s friends. They basically offer a myriad of unique tools to personalise your photo and mobile conversations by adding creative objects like bunny ears, tilt shift and create visual content.

The Kanvas Creative SDK will enable developers to have access to the following technology:

  • Integrated Camera: Full screen camera that enables users to capture gifs, photos and stop-motion videos with both the front- and rear-facing cameras.
  • Face Tracking: A modularized advanced software tool capable of altering and/or enhancing a person’s appearance in live video with 3D masks, makeup, special effects and more.
  • Editing Tools: Powerful multimedia editor offering overlays, stickers, fonts and drawing on photos, GIFs and videos. As one would desire, images from your camera gallery too can be imported to utilise the on board editing features.
  • Live Streaming Capabilities: A live stream module merges the video stream with real-time editing, special effects and chat. The live streaming capability along with real-time editing was introduced by Kanvas Labs which dubs itself as the ‘mobile company focusing on unlocking creativity for the masses.’ Two months later it was acquired by AOL.

Evidently, this puts the messaging app in the fray of the likes of Periscope and Snapchat. At the same time, live stream also gave them custom sponsorships.

Talking about the same, Vic Singh, Founder of Kanvas, says,

We are thrilled to bring our technology to the larger developer community and be first-to-market with an open platform. Our goal is to empower developers to bring unique content creation experiences to their applications. With the Kanvas Creative SDK, developers will have plug and play access to a suite of mixed media creative technology backed by over 50,000 hours of engineering.

Quite a number of notable companies have signed on to the Kanvas bandwagon, including Phhhoto, Video Star, Showzee & ROLR.

A majority of Kanvas’ audience lies between the ages of 13 to 18, with over 65 percent of them being female. The app got 10.2 million additional users by integrating into Verizon messaging app. Streams on Kanvas 5.0 are viewable to those who don’t have the Kanvas app via links sent out on Facebook and Twitter. Kanvas users can also receive notifications about streams within the app, that functions as a social network as well. Viewers can chat during streams and even comment with animated stickers.

Looking to the future, the app should continue to see a surge in growth momentum considering the fact that people (especially teenagers) are willing to broadcast every moment of their lives in a meaningful and innovative manner on mobile. The product also coincides with AOL’s mobile video first philosophy, and should benefit from it’s progressive video advertising technologies.

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