Easy-to-use interface; 18 filter choices; Cool Mask feature; Can crop videos ; Fun Remix feature
Slow uploads; Not optimized for landscape; Can't make profile private; No Android version
An Instagram for video, Cinemagram's iOS app lets users make 2- to 3-second moving pictures and add funky filters.
When we heard about Cinemagram, the first thing we thought was, "Instagram meets animated GIF." The free app for iOS lets users create 2- to 3-second videos, or "cines," as Cinemagram calls them, then apply a filter to that video and share it on a social network. However, we had a few questions: Could a cool video really be constructed in just a few seconds? Are the filters any good? We went hands-on to answer these questions and more.
After tapping Get Started, we could log in using our Facebook, Twitter or email accounts. Then a menu bar appeared at the bottom with several icons. Friends act as your News Feed; Explore let us search for cines; Capture let us create videos; Activity shows what cines your friends have liked or reposted; and You shows your profile.
At the bottom of our profile, we could view all the cines we had liked or reposted, and in the My Creations tab we could see cines we had created.
The Entertainment feed exists to see what celebrities are on the social network and view their Cines. We didn't recognize any celebrities, but perhaps this will improve once more celebs join Cinemagram.
How Cinemagram Works
When you press the Capture tab, you can either create a new video or choose from your existing videos. However, if your video is longer than 2 to 3 seconds, you must identify the part you'd like to use by moving two yellow bars within the clip.
Remix lets users create cines using studio-produced clips. We could choose videos from Red Bull, PinksPage, TMZ, One Direction or ParamountPics. The brands using Remix ask that you tag their name, so they can see the cine you've created.
The total length it took to create a cine depended on whether or not we used the Mask feature, but generally it was no longer than a few minutes. Cines can be uploaded via 3G and Wi-Fi.
We had little problem creating our own cines. However, we wish you could draw straight lines or perfect shapes with the paintbrush in the Mask feature; it was impossible to highlight exactly what we wanted to animate, which resulted in a somewhat sloppy cine.
One thing to note: Cinemagram only works in portrait mode, but most videos taken (including those in the Remix feature) are in landscape mode, which makes for a somewhat awkward editing experience.
We enjoyed looking at users' cines, but were increasingly frustrated with how long it took some cines to load. Some loaded in a matter of seconds, but most of the time it took several minutes and some simply never loaded.