If you spend any time at all on Facebook, you've seen lots of personalized cartoons floating around. You know, those colorful cartoons with characters of people you know? Those cartoons are called Bitstrips, and they seem the the newest and best thing in the universe. But, as it turns out, they aren't so new after all.
The Bitstrips Story
Bitstrips is a Canadian company (based in Ontario) that's actually been in the works for around seven years now. The company has received $3 million in funding thus far, and has been working with schools to create custom cartoons that teachers can use (like the Bitstrips that you have come to know).
Somehow (though Bitstrips founders aren't really saying how, exactly), the company has become a huge success overnight. The Bitstrips iOS and Android app launched in October following a Facebook app launch. Almost immediately, the app become a hit. People loved the concept of creating personalized cartoons, and Bitstrip began showing up in tons of news feeds.
Why Cartoon Strips?
Bitstrip founder, Jacob Blackstock, is a cartoonist at heart. He created Bitstrips to express his love for cartoons, and then quickly turned those cartoons into personalized pieces that told fast stories. Now, people can download the app though iOS, Android, or Facebook, and creates stories of their own - as I'm sure you've seen.
It seems likely that the idea for Bitstrips was created to give people a soapbox to stand on. The cartoons are, essentially, a way for people to express opinions and share personal stories and jokes.
But, the cartoon strips have turned into something of a nuisance (in this writer's opinion). Facebook news feeds are now full of cartoons that seem interesting (and gain fast attention), but are actually nothing more than more ways for people to complain.
A Great Idea Gone Bad?
Could Bitstrips be used for the greater good? The concept is a good one - let people create personal cartoons - but how can these cartoons be used to spread important messages? It's not hard to build a Bitstrip at all (just plug int the details and create a character), and the app is free to use. If you've ever wanted to create your own comic strip, Bitstrips will get the job done.
I'm curious, though, how many of you actually enjoy looking at these cartoons. Or, how many of you have created a Bitstrip to share with other people? I've seen a ton of these strips show up in my Facebook news feed, but none, so far, are explaining more than the average ho-hum unnecessary Facebook nonsense. Still, strips are entertaining and better than memes, I suppose, right?
What are you thoughts on Bitstrips? How did this company become a success overnight? Do you think that these cartoons are a good idea or another bad way for Facebook fiends to create unnecessary noise? Let me know what you think about Bitstrips - and let everyone else know whether you love or hate what they've been creating via Facebook!