After launching just under two years ago, Instagram Stories is one of the most popular features on the photo-sharing app.
Last November, it was revealed that Stories now has 300 million daily active users.
With all those Stories around, you want to ensure that your version stands out in the crowd.
Enter Unfold. The app launched in January this year is focused on curating your Instagram Story, with a range of slick designs you can include to make your video, boomerang or image look professional.
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Unfold recently topped three million downloads in only six months and was even featured at Apple’s recent WWDC keynote.
Headed up by Alfonso Cobo (CEO) and Andy McCune (COO) who are 25 and 23 respectively, we spoke to the duo to find out where Unfold came from and what’s next for the popular app.
The inspiration for Unfold came from Cobo during his time at university. He was supposed to be attending a career fair and tried to find an app that would help him create a quick portfolio to showcase his design and photography for potential employers.
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“Usually there’s an app for everything. But I couldn’t find anything in the App Store,” he tells the Standard.
So, he decided to make his own, which became Portafolio. Then, as Instagram Stories began picking up traction, Cobo decided to pivot to offering something for the app’s growing user base.
“People don’t want to showcase their work in a private portfolio, they want to showcase it to the world. They want to tell the stories behind their work and they want it to be seen,” he says.
McCune became involved with Unfold after him met Cobo through Instagram incidentally, after bonding over Stories. As a result, the whole business has grown from their love of social media, but also the desire to offer something more to the community.
“We built Unfold for people like us who wanted to tell stories in a thoughtful and curated way, and we felt like we needed a more design-focused tool to support that,” they say.
Unfold isn’t just for Instagram. You can use the platform to curate Stories across other social networks, such as Facebook and Snapchat. But, it is Instagram Stories where the duo are seeing the tools used the most.
So far, Unfold counts influencers such as Zoella amongst its fans, as well as brands including Vogue and Revolve which are using the app. Cobo and McCune say they think this comes down to the inherent human desire to be creative.
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“Social media is this constant battle to stand out from the crowd. Unfold allows people to create and express themselves in a way that’s simple and intuitive and we think that is the reason people have responded so well.”
The app only launched in January but is already profitable. Unfold makes money through its premium collections, available to purchase on the app, though the duo say they are exploring ways to work more with brands as a way to diversify and grow Unfold their revenue.
Alongside this, they are working on growing and improving the app every day.
“We’re learning every day how users craft and share their stories,” they say. “They want their voice to be heard and to connect with people from their community, and we’re building and growing accordingly.”