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New Flipagram camera feature lets you create real-time videos to favorite tunes

Think you have what it takes to be the next big music act? Prove it with Flipagram’s new Music Video Camera feature, which lets you create “music videos” of yourself lip-syncing to your favorite tunes and share it with the Flipagram community. You can draw from a big catalog of music through the licensing deals with major record labels announced last month; sample snippets of a song for free, or purchase it via iTunes. Whereas in the past users would share photos to music (what Flipagram is all about), now they can now share videos of a moment, in real-time.

“It’s something very much in demand with our users,” says John Bolton, Flipagram’s VP of Business Development. “We’ve seen other signals in the market that suggests [lip-sync videos] are very much a broad and high-demand use case. Our fans were hacking Flipagrams – record themselves singing or dancing, and then put the song over it. Of course, that doesn’t work very well. Our users were trying to force Flipagram to be able to do those functions, and now we’ve built the feature that makes it much easier.”

No, the feature isn’t meant for discovering new talent (although, with how social media influences culture, you never know), nor is it just documenting about a personal karaoke performance. It’s designed to give Flipagram users another outlet for personal expression, and to capture a particular moment to music. Perhaps it’s a video of yourself making breakfast in the morning, crooning to a song that gets your day started, or an emotional cry to some sappy ballad – whatever users aren’t embarrassed about sharing.

“When you record that video wherever you are in life, the question is, we hope, ‘Why would you not do that without music,’” Bolton says. “We know music brings the context and emotion and depth far more than just a video without.”

You can add special effects to get really creative, like fast and slow motion. You can also set the start and end points of a song. It’s not a new trend – there are plenty of videos on YouTube of people lip-syncing – but now there is a tool to make it easier via the Flipagram app.

Related: Storytelling social network Flipagram signs music licensing deals with majors

For Flipagram, the Music Video Camera is one way it’s leveraging its partnerships with music labels, as well as the many artists and celebrities who have an active presence on the social network. One such artist is Carly Rae Jepsen, who is Flipagram’s September Artist of the Month (Pitbull was Flipagram’s first, in August). Jepsen will not only use Flipagram to promote her music, but it’s a way to connect with fans, either through comments or “reflipping” a favorite post on her feed. With the Music Video Camera, Jepsen’s fans can sing their hearts out to her tunes or overlay it onto a meaningful moment, and she can reflip the ones she likes (it’s like a way of saying, “I like you”). That’s one idea, at least.

“We will have her song, “Run Away with Me,” available to users, and Carly will be engaging her fans with this,” Bolton says. “Traditionally, where artists are out on [other social networks] broadcasting content like a photo or a tweet, what’s happening here is that artists and fans are co-creating, and Carly is going to have her Flipagram debut and she’s calling all her fans to come to Flipagram and show her what this song means to them. They can use the Music Video Camera to do a lip-sync, or make their own music video or Flipagram with it. You can’t really [engage with fans] like this on other networks.

“We’re expecting millions of her fans to come over the course of September to do this new kind of music experience where you just don’t listen to it, but you create with it and express yourself with it visually,” Bolton adds. The comment ties into those that CEO Farhad Mohit told us in July, regarding growth opportunities; partnering with musicians and other celebs to bring their fans onto the platform is one way to increase the number of users.

As for the Music Video Camera, Bolton says this is “version 1, and you can imagine all the fun things this could evolve into.” Bolton also hinted on more artist collaborations to come, and that many of the features being rolled out are from artists’ feedback. And while Bolton says Flipagram will explore different kinds of partnerships, not just with music artists but also other celebrities and influencers, the company’s DNA will revolve around music.

“We know there’s a ton of artists using our platform to build followings, and so we are developing promotional platforms to accommodate them,” Bolton says. “We’re trying to build a platform for everybody, but the synergy with artists is 100 percent. We are very committed to the industry and artists.”