Below is our recent interview with Magda Stenzel, CEO and Co-Founder of StringFlix, Inc:
Q: What is StringFlix School? Briefly describe how it works.
A: StringFlix School is a branch of our current Social Media Video Platform, StringFlix, which was launched last year. It is a collaborative video sharing app available to middle school students starting in 2021. This is a subscription model app exclusive to schools, that enhances school teamwork, especially during social distancing. StringFlix School was created to help teachers engage their students in school-work and improve creativity.
In the app, a teacher or a student creates a video project, known as a “String” which includes a message, hashtags and a project deadline. Then the creator invites others in the classroom to participate by adding their own videos or photos. It can be used to create classroom group projects and virtual presentations and videos to celebrate special events or collaborative video campaigns, all done virtually, but at the same time, keeping the group work fun and intimate.
Q: Why create StringFlix School now? What factors in the Market make it important to launch StringFlix School at this moment in time?
A: We are at an important intersection between challenges with social distancing and technology capabilities.
Video content represents 82% of all internet traffic, and especially during this pandemic, video in social media has unite us through these trying times. However, among all social media platforms, none is solely dedicated to education, and we are developing a platform that focuses on academic collaboration to enable an aspect of onsite education that is not possible when working remotely. The platform gives students a sense of classroom togetherness while students work on projects and assignments. It also increases self-confidence by empowering students to express their ideas in a fun creative way to enhance their school projects. By inviting people to a String through hashtag links, StringFlix School users can rally around a project from their smartphones or tablets.
Q: What were the challenges that your Startup Company faced during development of the software?
A: Like with any self-funded startup, StringFlix had a limited budget for the development process of the StringFlix School app. For us, it was extremely important to find an ace team of developers to work in the development process. Therefore, our first order, to start the project, was to find a great backend developer and especially an excellent frontend developer. For the backend code we used the same PHP platform from our current app, but for the frontend code we knew that schools would want the app to be available in Android as well as iOS, and because the previous app was only in iOS, we decided to develop this new platform using Flutter, which created the app for both iOS and Android phones and tablets, simultaneously.
Q: Who were the developers that you found and what did they bring to the project?
A: For the backend code, which was kept pretty much the same as the current StringFlix app, we just brought a new developer from Poland, Ludwik Grochowina, to enhance the security of our app users, especially now that the product will focus on school kids, security of our AWS cloud server was a priority to us. For the frontend development we brought a fresh face to the team, Sardor Islomov, originally from Uzbekistan, who was key in the development of both the iOS and Android apps using Flutter (SDK). The challenge for Sardor was to make the school app work exactly the same in both platforms while maintaining two different native video compression libraries, gif libraries etc. He did an excellent job at working for both platforms simultaneously. We just can’t wait to share this product in as many middle schools as possible.
Q: How does StringFlix School fits in with your company’s mission and why
A: Our company’s mission is always to bring people together through video collaboration, and this is exactly what we hope to bring to school kids and teachers next year. With the length of school closures uncertain, countries are attempting to support learning of students out-of-school and in almost all cases, are turning to the use of educational technology (EdTech) to deliver and support remote learning. With social distancing, it is hard for students to participate in group projects, even though remote class projects are becoming more popular every day and it will remain popular even after Covid-19 vaccines become widely available. Our solution is very unique, and it is designed to provide and support collaboration between students and educators. Our new app is part of the solutions to a global education crisis and as such, it presents the technology for students to inspire one another in a familiar, creative, fun and safe environment.
Please check a explainer video of StringFlix School.