With the tight grip that cell phones and technology have on our society, social media applications are more popular than ever. Additionally, the desire to cash in on the creation of the next Snapchat or Instagram is higher than ever—Snapchat co-creator and CEO Evan Spiegel and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom each have a net worth well over $100 million. This desire to create the “next big thing” and profit handsomely has spurred a huge increase in the production of apps. One such individual hoping to capitalize on this movement is Gabriel Jacobs, who, along with Amadou Crookes and Mario Gomez-Hall, launched an app called Cymbal in spring 2015. Cymbal was created when all three were undergraduates at Tufts University and is now gaining mainstream traction.
Cymbal is an app that allows the user to post one song—your “Cymbal”—at a time, which can then be seen by all those who follow you. Along with their personal Cymbal, users are able to see the postings for all the people who they follow and they can listen to, like and save other users’ Cymbals. Currently, the app has integration with music apps Spotify and Soundcloud, allowing users the option to search the catalogs of these apps to find almost any song out there.
Cymbal is fairly straightforward with three main components: a music search page, a personal profile page and a homepage where users can view others’ Cymbals. This simplicity resembles that of Instagram, but instead of sharing photos, users share songs—represented by corresponding album artwork on the app. Cymbal’s basicness makes it easy to use; avoiding the clutter and learning curve often found in other social media apps. Cymbal also gives users the option to connect with their Facebook and Twitter accounts, making it simple to find and follow your friends.
Many verified accounts have joined Cymbal since its release in spring 2015, most notably rapper Pusha T, music reviewer Anthony Fantano—also known as The Needle Drop—and record label Def Jam—all of which regularly share music with the app. There are also many accounts dedicated to posting music from different genres such as hip-hop and indie, allowing users even more avenues to discover music.
When a user posts a song, you are also able to see who else posted the song; then you can get recommendations on who to follow based on that song. If you are the first person to post that Cymbal, you get a trophy and your profile will pop up as the first person that posted the song whenever someone else posts the song. This feature adds to the social aspect of the app by allowing users to connect with people on the app who they may not know, but who share a common musical taste.
Cymbal’s premise as a place to share, discover and interact with friends and favorite musicians about music makes this an appealing new addition to the world of social media. As it was released under a year ago, the app is continually being updated to fix issues and to add new features. With a growing community of users and interest from companies that have also invested in Snapchat and Yik Yak, it seems that Cymbal is on the path to success.
Cymbal is currently available on the Apple App Store and is beta for Android, meaning it will soon be available for that platform as well. With Cymbal, you don’t have to tell your friends that you heard that song before it was cool—now you can actually prove it.