Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
It’s extremely likely that your Facebook feed got flooded with friend-generated comic strips in recent months, and you have Bitstrips to thank for that. The company revealed today that users have created over 30 million cartoon avatars with its Android and iOS apps.
The app works by allowing users to design an avatar for themselves, connect with their Facebook friends and create personalized comic strips. It launched first on Android in August before arriving on iOS in the beginning of October.
Co-founder Jacob Blackstock said Bitstrips was surprised when the iOS app quickly soared to the #1 position on the App Store in more than 40 countries, as the company launched it without any fanfare. The service has begun to take on a life of its own, with one user recently publishing a comic illustrating the life of Nelson Mandela and a French politician announcing her candidacy for mayor with a Bitstrips comic.
In order to let users keep sharing their comics without having to flood their friends’ feeds, Bitstrips is updating its apps to include more sharing options, such as text and email.
Bitstrips also announced closing a $3 million Series A funding round from Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures. The company had been bootstrapped since launching in 2007, but the recent viral success of its apps persuaded it to take on outside investment to help it scale. Alongside today’s announcement, Bitstrips has launched a company blog that will fittingly communicate via comic strips.
Headline image credit: Bitstrips
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