The death of Dubsmash
During the years 2014-2015, Dubsmash was extremely popular as an app for people who enjoyed lip-syncing or dancing to short videos. This free German app lets users take selfie videos and choose any sound from Dubsmash’s Soundboard to play during the videos. Since its launch in November 2014, it has been downloaded over 20 million times. The app was an easy way to record humorous videos without exerting oneself too much. For an app that experienced success, it would be helpful to know what went wrong.
What set it apart from TikTok
Although people could record one minute of live video on Dubsmash, they could publish only 10 seconds of edited video. TikTok videos can be one minute in duration, although shorter videos are more popular. Compared to TikTok, Dubsmash has a limited library of songs, but it allows users to create their own library of songs.TikTok’s library of songs lets users add them in videos without being bothered about copyright issues. The interface of Dubsmash is more straightforward and easier to use, with only a few options available on the main page. TikTok, on the other hand, has myriad features. It has a chat feature that includes popular videos and trending hashtags, which helps users discover new content.
The celebrity connection
During its initial years, many celebrities used Dubsmash. In 2015, Rihanna released the promo of her single, ‘B…., better have my money’ on the app. In the same year, Jimmy Fallon and Selena Gomez used it on their show. The app was also a popular choice among street dancers posting their moves. It was also popular among Black creators and dancers. Demi Lovato, Hugh Jackman, and Kendall Jenner also made videos on the app.
Within one year of its launch in 2014, Dubsmashhad been downloaded more than 20 million times. In the founders’ home country of Germany, it became the number one app in the iOS store. Later, it became the number one app in 29 other countries, including France and the UK. It received positive feedback and became internationally successful, dominatingFacebook feeds and Twitter conversations.
Reddit acquired Dubsmash in December 2020. During the acquisition, the app was drawing more than 1 million views, monthly. About 30% of its viewers logged in daily to create videos. The Dubsmash team tried to integrate their video creation tools with Reddit so that Reddit’s own creators would use them to create original and innovative content. It did not work out that way, and the app was already facing competition. It was no match for TikTok. In December 2020, Dubsmash saw just 63,000 downloads, a paltry amount compared to TikTok’s staggering 4.6 million.
This February onwards, Dubsmash will no longer be available on Apple or Google’s app stores. The app will also stop working for existing users. If they want to, users can keep connecting with each other at r/dubsmash. Users who have memories of the app are disappointed to watch it quietly. The lack of social networking features within it could have led to its demise. It will continue to live in the fond memories of users who enjoyed creating content with it.