Apple And Facebook Stole Fast Society’s Mojo, Here’s How It Rallied

When his group texting business was overrun by bigger players, Matthew Rosenberg adapted and built a new app–here’s a sneak peek.

The group texting field was wide open when Fast Society launched in 2010. Then, a year later, in quick succession, Facebook, Skype, and Apple bought or launched their own multiple user texting services. “It felt to me like a street brawl,” says Fast Society cofounder and chief executive officer Matthew Rosenberg. “It was us against the world.” He had to change course.


So, instead of continuing to compete in an increasingly crowded space, Fast Society scrapped its group text app to build a new tool that, Rosenberg hoped, would be unlike any other.

The result, the soon-to-be released Cameo–which you can sneak peek in the video above–allows you to make movie “trailers” of any moment they capture with photos or video: an evening out, a special event, an everyday accomplishment, with next to no effort. Gather some footage, add captions, music, and filters (one is called VHS) on the spot. Within minutes the mini-movie is ready to share.

But Fast Society, Rosenberg says, didn’t pivot. That term, he says, is a “glory badge” for companies with a failed product and no clear idea for how change it to succeed.

“We evolve,” he said. “We know what we’re doing. We know where we’re going.”

About the author

Simone Baribeau is a freelance writer based in Miami, Florida. She has written for Bloomberg News, the Financial Times and the business sections of the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor.