For a brief moment, dubsmash was all the rage. The lip-sync app was popular with a specific demographic, namely young dancers who shared their content to social media. It gained attention from celebrities like Evan Rachel Wood and Rihanna, which helped propel it to the top of the charts.
In its early days, the app allowed users to record selfie lip-sync videos to famous movie quotes and sound bites from across pop culture. Users could also add emojis, animations, and filters to their creations.
The app was a hit, raising millions in venture capital from Index Ventures and other investors. It had over 200 million registered members at its peak. Its popularity waned, though, and it was eventually replaced by TikTok.
As a result, the company decided to focus on a narrower audience. It focused on American teenagers and hired a team of 10 full-time and contracted employees to track and engage with its community — often private messaging them directly on Instagram and other platforms.
In 2019, the company faced a few setbacks, including a data breach that put 161.5 million user records up for sale on the dark web. The team was able to quickly fix the problem, but this incident served as a reminder that online communities can be unpredictable and unforgiving.
In December 2020, the company was acquired by Reddit for an undisclosed sum. Co-founder Jonas Druppel joined the site’s video team and worked to integrate the Dubsmash video creation tools into Reddit’s platform. Reddit says that this integration has already seen “nearly 70% growth in video hours on Reddit” in 2021.