Exclusive: Interview with Sarah Glide

 

Written by Thomsen Young and you can follow him @
My name is Sarah Snow, although I’m sometimes known as Sarah Glide. I work for the live video messaging app Glide, where I recently started learning ASL. I was born in New York City and, when I was 10 years old, moved with my family to Israel, where I’ve lived ever since. I also have a really cute cat named Juicee.

Serious Questions:

What makes your product stand out against others?

While video calling apps like Skype or FaceTime have successfully facilitated meaningful, real-time communication, they are limited since all participants must be present and engaged simultaneously in the conversation. Alternatively, text and email allow for communication between people who are not immediately available to talk by phone or video call, but both limit creative expression and require tedious typing. Messaging apps have been met with massive user adoption despite only providing partial solutions to these problems by simply allowing pictures or tiny videos to be attached to existing text-based communication. Glide finally transcends all of these barriers to human communication by delivering a robust communications app that lets people instantly engage in high quality, lightning fast video, wherever they may be.

What is the goal of Glide for the next two years? Next five years?

Glide mission is to transcend the boundaries of human communication through the power and personality of live video messaging. Our goal is to become the largest and most active video communications network in the world by providing a new, lightning fast way for consumers to communicate from smartphones, tablets and smartwatches via video messaging.

What will Glide be doing to adapt to the fast pace changing of technology?

While Glide is currently available on the iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets, many view Glide as a “killer app” for the upcoming generation of wearable devices (e.g., Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches) that do not have a keyboard.

Think about it. The biggest pain point on today’s smartwatches is that notifications aren’t actionable. I can receive a message or an email on my wrist, but how do I easily respond? The screen isn’t large enough for a keyboard and dictation is slow and inaccurate. ‘Tap and talk’ messaging is the future because it’s fast, easy, natural and accurate compared with text-based input or dictation.

Why is this product best for people who are deaf/hard of hearing?

Glide is all about visual communication. You record a video that your friends can see in real time or whenever it’s convenient. Since ASL is a form of visual communication, Glide is a perfect fit for the deaf/hard of hearing community.

Who is leading the organization and what are they doing to ensure to have a technological edge?

Our three founders, CEO Ari Roisman, CTO Jonathan Caras and Chief Product & Marketing Officer Adam Korbl, sought to develop a lightning fast app that combines the benefits of video calling and text messaging – without their respective limitations. To do this, our engineers developed a novel, cloud-based video streaming technology that enables quality video to be sent and received instantly, even when only connected to legacy 3G networks. Users can even send and store a large quantity of video messages on Glide without eating up memory on their devices.

We also intend to be available on the Apple Watch at launch and other smartwatches later this year, because we are confident that smartwatches will transform the messaging space. Whether email or messaging, the majority of social interactions on mobile devices today are already asynchronous. It’s simply much easier to send somebody a video message than to schedule a phone or video call. Video messaging on smartwatches will deliver the ultimate convenience in personal communications, eliminating the need to repeatedly reach into one’s pocket to pull out a smartphone. Smartwatch users will simply tap and talk from their wrists. As these wearable devices improve and we begin to see mass market adoption in 2015, messaging habits will evolve and Glide plans to be at the center of this change in behavior.

How do you intend to target specific people to use Glide?

Knowing who are users are is the first step in targeting others like them to get them to use the app. Approximately 90% of Glide’s user base is composed of Americans between 13 and 30 years old Our audience skews towards urban females. But, Glide has also achieved good traction with parents seeking to keep in touch with their children and those in long distance relationships. We’ve even heard from some users who met their fiancees via Glide and we’re really excited about the first ever “Glide wedding couple” who will be getting married this October. And, of course, we’ve become really popular among the deaf community, where visual communication, like ASL, is a primary means of conversation.

When will Glide be available in all languages? Why is it only available in English and German?

Our iOS app is available in a whole bunch of languages: English, German, Portuguese (both), Spanish, Italian, Russian, Korean, Chinese (both), Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, and Indonesian. Look for additional languages and platforms to be supported later on this year.

Tell us about some of the new features that will be coming out soon. We just heard about that Glide is now available on iPad!

That’s right. We just introduced a new version of Glide for iOS that supports the iPad. Now our users can enjoy Glide on a larger screen, while also watching and recording video messages in landscape mode.

We’ve also introduced some other cool features for our iOS users, like instant photo sharing and offline mode, which lets you record video messages without an Internet connection. Glide then seamlessly delivers your messages in the background when you come back online. All of these features will soon be available to our Android users too.

Plus, a lot of our users asked for the option to review a message they’ve recorded before sending it. So, we give all our users this ability too. We’re always looking to make it easier for users to send videos to friends — even those who may not be using Glide — and group chats.

Got my official name sign today 🙂 Thanks Clare! What do y’all think? ✌️
Posted by Sarah Glide on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

 

How do you feel about being the “face” or aka “spokesperson” for Glide?

It’s an honor to be part of such an amazing company and I love what I do.

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Tell us about your experience touring and visiting different schools for the deaf and talking about Glide.

Learning ASL and touring different schools for the Deaf has been one of my best experiences ever. I love being able to interact with our users face-to-face and to hear what they have to say about the app. Everyone we visited were extremely warm and welcoming and we were all touched by it. We hope to get back on the road again soon to visit some more of the communities around the country that have extended invitations to us. 🙂

Completely Silly Random Questions:

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

I’m glad you asked about “superpowers” in plural because it’s so hard to choose just one. I’d want super strength, teleportation, telekinesis, fire breathing, invisibility, flying, the ability to breathe underwater, time travel, super speed, metamorphosis, immortality, and the ability to be really good at math. I suck at math.

If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?

Oh man, this is such a hard question because I really love being human. But, if I have to choose one, I’d probably say a Panther, or something that can run really fast.

You have the choice to live with a gorilla who knows sign language or a dog who sings lullabies, which do you choose?

Definitely the Gorilla!

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

Oprah. She’s the best.

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