Interview: Givit Founder & CEO Greg Kostello Discusses the New Video Sharing & Storage Device


Givit LogoGivit Logo. Image courtesy of Givit

I'm so excited to introduce you to Givit, the new video sharing and storage device! I don't know about you but I've unfortunately lost video from my adorable cousin's first birthday, of my grandma (who suffers from dementia) singing, visits with loved ones from other countries that can never be replaced and of my goofy dog (who can ever have too many videos of their dog?) because the video app I used on my previous iPhone wouldn't transfer to my new one. I wish I'd had this device in the past or even the Givit app for my iPhone which would have saved me a lot of heartache. I had the pleasure of speaking with Givit's founder and CEO Greg Kostello this morning to find out what it's all about, how it works, how we can use it from our computers and mobile devices and much more!


Greg KostelloGivit Founder and CEO Greg Kostello. Image courtesy of VMIX


Candace Rose: For those who've never heard of Givit, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Greg Kostello: "Yes, Givit is the easiest way to share videos. We wanted to make it so simple. A lot of people sometimes feel challenged about sharing videos and so we wanted to be able to do it from any device they have whether it's a camera, their PC, their Mac, iPhone or Android – just make it really simple.

    So how you use it is you just select whatever you have and select recipients by their email address, hit send and you're done."


Candace Rose: How does it differ from other sites like Youtube and Vimeo?

Greg Kostello: "Youtube and Vimeo are great at sharing with a wide audience. But so many videos we create – say videos we create of our children or of close friends or just goofing around – a lot of those videos we don't want to share more broadly. We don't want to have the whole world view those videos. So Givit is really focused on first and foremost making videos easy to share privately. There are ways to share publicly with Givit, but we think most people for most videos they take – think of all the videos that are sitting on your smartphone today – how many of those are really designed for Youtube or Vimeo? Most of them, I think are designed to be shared with close friends."


Candace Rose: How does Givit work?

Greg Kostello: "Givit can work from really any device, so all we do is we take the video that you upload and we put it into a secure place in the cloud and from there when you send something out you get a notification either in the form of an email or something will pop up on your iPhone (or Android) will tell you, 'hey, there's a video waiting for you from this person'. So Candie, if you were to use it, it would say 'Candie has sent you a new video'."


Givit inboxGivit inbox. Image courtesy of Givit




Candace Rose: Do you have to be a Facebook user or can you sign up the old fashioned way, by email?

Greg Kostello: "We encourage both forms. So you can use your email or Facebook."


Candace Rose: Is there a limit on the number of videos or the size of them?

Greg Kostello: "No. There's no limit on the number of videos you can have and we really wanted to make it easy to upload large files. So today, just on the web form there's a 2 GB limit, but soon that will be lifted. And if you upload from your iPhone or other devices or your PC and web, you can really upload very, very large files."


Candace Rose: And for those of us who are addicted to our mobile devices, can you tell us a little bit about the mobile app and how it works?

Greg Kostello: "Yes, the mobile apps are free as well and so what you do is when you use your mobile device, use it as a camera/camcorder.You can take videos and then straight from within Givit you can share those videos, but for a lot of people they already have captured videos so you can also take any video that are in your video library and share those as well and it's really simple. Say you're using your iPhone – you select a video, you select the recipients from your address book and you hit send. You can also include an optional message. You can do the exact same thing on your Android as well. We tried to really cover the bases for the most popular devices that are out there."


Givit iPhoneGivit for the iPhone. Image courtesy of Givit


Givit AndroidGivit for the Android. Image courtesy of Givit


Givit iPadGivit for the iPad. Image courtesy of Givit


Candace Rose: FlipShare recently migrated to Givit. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Greg Kostello: "Yes, the Flip community was really early on involved in personal video sharing and so we made it really simple. Cisco had decided to leave that business but they didn't want to abandon their users, so we created a one button migration from all of your FlipShare videos into the Givit service. So all you have to do is create an account on Givit and then give your credentials or log in information and we'll just move all those files, whether you have 1 or 1,000 videos."


Candace Rose: I post a lot of video to my website, especially interviews that I conduct. Is it possible for somebody like me to embed video to my website from Givit?

Greg Kostello: "Yes. Do you use Youtube videos?

Candace Rose: Yes, I do.

Greg Kostello: "Well, what you want to do is – any videos that you have stored within Givit, there's an option within the web interface to post to Youtube and again, since probably most videos you wouldn't want to do this, but the polished ones that are maybe an interview, you would. All you have to do is select to put this to Youtube and you enter your credentials for your Youtube account and we take it from there. It's very fast to do that because it's really from one cloud service to another and you just do everything like you would normally do from within Youtube to post that video publicly."


Candace Rose: Say I was to share a video with someone. Can they share it with somebody else?

Greg Kostello: "Great question. That's really under your control. There's really two options. By default videos are not designed to be reshared to ensure your privacy, but with one little click of a button you can make that video resharable and then the recipient can then reshare it with whomever they want to."


Givit device Mac, PC, iPad, Android, iPhoneGivit is available on the PC, your Mac, iPhone, Android and iPad

Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?

Greg Kostello: "Yeah, we really encourage people to upload lots of content. We hear stories about people losing their iPhone, their Android and you hate to lose all that video content. And especially since the service is free to get going, put it up there and then you can always save it off and download it to a different device or your web. I really encourage people to do that. I hate to hear about people losing their content.

    The other thing is with Mother's Day we put up a video that really suggested that people just send their mother a video and tell them how much they appreciate them. And I think that's something you can tell them anytime. Think about all the photos that people get and people love getting photos, and what people love even more is getting a video of something really sweet and short. Anybody can do it and I'm always surprised when people discover this feature and how much they have with it."


Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?

Greg Kostello: "Yes, Everything is there on our website or you can simply download the app from the iPhone and the Android store."



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