Are you ready for HYPE? We think you are.

For the past year, our team has been quietly focused on building HYPE, a live and interactive video service that packs a robust set of creative tools right into your phone. Today, we’re excited to share what we’ve created and officially release it in the App Store. What’s HYPE? Why now? What’s different? Check out the below for more details, or, better yet, tune in live to our first official HYPE broadcast today at 1:30 p.m. ET where we’ll show off all the creative capabilities of HYPE’s features and answer questions live.

Put simply, our goal with HYPE is to elevate storytelling on mobile by building the most expressive and flexible creative video tools, coupled with real time input from the audience. While developing HYPE, we were inspired by the evolution of TV and desktop broadcasting — these areas continue to grow in quality and expression, while mobile video has remained relatively simple and one-dimensional. We think there’s a better experience to be had, one that uses the phone’s capabilities to full effect and blends the creator’s own media into their live broadcast.

Here’s a sampling of HYPE’s toolbox of features:

  • Stream your story live, in real time, using HYPE’s tools to produce the look, feel, and tone that’s right for your individual broadcast.
  • Incorporate photos, videos and GIFs from your camera roll, play music directly from your iTunes library, and add text, emoji or themed backgrounds.
  • Get creative with how your broadcast is presented by changing the size and layout of your image. Hosts can choose to appear full-screen, tiny, or disappear completely in order to direct the audience’s attention from their camera’s image to another piece of media.
  • Audience members can interact with hosts by asking or answering questions, casting votes, or sharing feedback (solicited or otherwise). They can also express their feelings by tapping on a piece of media on the screen, which sends “sparkles” to the broadcast.
  • Hosts can feature their favorite comments directly on their broadcast, making the audience engagement part of the story itself.
  • Audience members can share live broadcasts with their friends who can join in to interact in real time, or hosts can save their broadcasts to be re-watched later (though you have to be there live if you want to interact).

As we’ve been beta testing HYPE over the last few months, we’ve watched people adopt HYPE in a variety of ways. For instance, Samm hosts a daily news show from her NY apartment called News One. Holden brings us Game Guru: where he talks about good games, bad games, and even play games about games. Games! Nick created After Dark, a nightly HYPE episode where he blurs the line between host and audience thorough “mind activations” and sharing insane video clips from the depths of the internet. All of this is to say: this list of features does no justice to what’s possible when people begin to combine these tools with the unique ideas in their heads.

As technology evolves — phones get faster, networks grow stronger and better tools become possible — people seek out new platforms to express themselves and engage with the world digitally. We believe we’re at a point today where creators are ready for a more immersive experience, complete with rich, creative tools to tell their stories. We’re setting out to create something colorful, visceral and wonderfully unexpected and hope creators will follow.

Download HYPE on the App Store

Follow us on Twitter @hype

– Team HYPE