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Niantic acqui-hires Evertoon to add a social network to Pokémon Go and other apps

Niantic acqui-hires Evertoon to add a social network to Pokémon Go and other apps
From TechCrunch - November 3, 2017

Niantic, the company behind the hit mobile game Pokmon Go and its predecessor, Ingress, announced today it has acquired the team from the startup Evertoon to help it further build out its mobile products. Deal terms were not disclosed, but from how its described, the move seems to be more of an acqui-hire focused on gaining access to talent, rather than Evertoons IP.

Launched last year, Evertoons app was designed to help users make short, personalized films that could be shared out to social networks like YouTube and Twitter.

The app allowed users to upload a photo to use on top of a predesigned avatar, which they could then program to do certain things by typing emoji commands. For example, typing a thumbs up emoji would have the avatar perform that action, while a fist would have the avatar throwing a punch. Users could also upload their own background photo and add their voices to the videos.

Evertoon has been live for 18 months, and during that time, people have used Evertoon to make animated fan fiction, celebrity satire, and music videos, the company says today in its announcement. The development taught them a lot about building a community and social experiences, it says.

Niantics interest in the toon-making app is less about the technical mechanics of creating these mini-movies, and more about the teams engineering capabilities, as well as their understanding of social systems.

Niniane [Wang, founder of Evertoon] and her team have been exploring innovative ways to add social mechanics to digital products. As our products and platform evolve, they will help build social systems that will benefit our entire community, Niantic says in its blog post about the acquisition.

Evertoons team will be tasked with adding a social platform to Niantics games, including Pokmon Go, Ingress, and its future titles.

As a result of being acquired, Evertoon will shut down its iOS application.

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