Trio: creative expression through multimedia mash-ups


Snapshots of the features in Trio. Trio allows users to string together multiple media types to create video mash-ups to share.

Emily Weaver and Daisy Horr

Misha Leybovich has worked for three years creating a new sharing device that highlights the new social media culture we see today by incorporating and innovating how people express themselves in a new conventional app called Trio.

“Why social media?” says Misha Leybovich, CEO of Meograph and founder of Trio. “I think it’s to be human, basically.”

The app Trio, founded by Misha Leybovich and CTO Clay Garrett, was launched March 4. It is an app that, through third party assets [media from other websites and companies] allows users to create 6-second mash-ups. The app also has a feature, which allows users to challenge each other to create different types of mash-ups.

“This lets you be funny and creative anytime,” says Leybovich. “So you can look cool even if you’re not doing cool activities all the time.”

“I can be funny, I can be creative, I can be clever and I can do that at any time of day, any day of the week, but the assets need to come from somewhere, the stuff that I use,” says Leybovich. “We saw some patterns in the market, but there’s nothing exactly like us, but we are based off of Tumblr and Pinterest… there should be something that lets you use other people’s stuff to make videos!”

Trio allows users to create limitless content they have always seen and enjoyed from others, but have never been able to create on their own.

“If you like to do mash-ups… now you have to have skills to do it. In fact if you look at Vine right now, I think about twenty or thirty percent of the content on there is actually another mash-up content, but it’s not made on Vine. None of it’s made there,” says Leybovich. “People want to do this kind of content, people seem to like watching it. People like creating one but they can’t because it’s too difficult, and so we try to think about how do you make the whole workflow [of creating] easy so we’re trying to think through every single step of the process here, and how can we make it, really seamless. That’s what we’re trying to do with Trio is adjust every part of that workflow.”

The app Trio was launched March 6, 2015. This is the company logo.
The app Trio was launched March 6, 2015. This is the company logo.

Much of the inspiration for Trio came from the company’s prior project, Meograph, a similar media and personal experience sharing platform.

“Trio is a very direct evolution of Meograph… It’s the same kind of concept of putting things together in a kind of modular fashion,” says Leybovich.

Meograph has been used by PBS News Hour, NCAA, NBA, TBS, and more.

“A lot of what we learned came from that, about what it takes to build a consumer grade product… it [Meograph] was more for very specific and detailed storytelling.”

So far, the app has shown interesting results, including promise for companies that allow Trio to use their content.

“We present a pretty unique value proposition to a content owner,” says Leybovich.

Trio gets content from sources like iTunes, Vine, Instagram, Giphy, Movie Clips, and Image Search, some of which contain copyrighted material. However, laws protect companies like Trio who get their media from other sources.

“There’s a thing in copyright law called Fair Use… If the piece you use is a very small percentage of the whole work, that’s cool. If it’s used in a very derivative manner, which ours is, that’s cool. And if it’s not competitive commercially with the original, also cool.”

Leybovich also notes that Trio actually benefits the third-party sources they get media from. ”

We actually do linked attribution,” says Leybovich. “So every asset that is used in Trio, we show you who made it, where it came from, and give you a link to go there… It’s kind of a win-win. For the consumer, if they like that song or that movie, or if they want to find that new Instagram person to follow, they can do it really easily. For the people that own the content, they get more traffic, they get more followers, they get more money.”

When it comes to movies, songs, and other content that can be purchased through a link in Trio’s app, they found that 35% of people who click on the link will follow through with a purchase.

Trio User Linn uses the app to create a media mash-up. Users can use multiple media content to create their mash-up.

Amid all of the app’s past and future successes, Trio remains, at the core, a tool for creative expression.

“When we started the original company, storytelling was a word I used a lot,” says Leybovich. “I don’t use it as much now because I think storytelling is an intimidating word, even though everybody at the end of the day is a storyteller. When you come home and you tell your mom or you cousin, or your boyfriend or girlfriend what happened that day, you’re a storyteller.”

Leybovich explains how one girl used the Trio app to create a type of “meme storytelling” for how she feels for each of the days of the week, ending at “TGIF” Friday.

“That’s a story!” says Leybovich. “But I don’t think that when someones doing it they’re thinking ‘oh I’m making some whole narrative’, they’re just thinking I’m putting together this fun thing. I think it’s all storytelling but we try and position it in a way that’s very open and inviting and not intimidating.”

Have you tried the app Trio? Let us know in the comments below!