If you own a GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO) Hero 5 Black or Hero 5 Session, it may have just gotten a little easier to create and share compelling stories with your GoPro. On Thursday, the company launched a new feature called QuikStories, which automatically pulls content off your camera and creates easy-to-share videos on your phone.
This is really an extension of the Quik app, which already creates pre-edited videos periodically based on what you've uploaded from your camera. This just takes a small step out of the process, making it easier to share content to your favorite social-media app.
A game changer for GoPro?
The QuikStories announcement of this product came with some high praise from CEO Nick Woodman. He called the feature the "biggest leap forward since the invention of the GoPro itself." That may be a bit of hyperbole, but it's an acknowledgement that one of GoPro's fundamental problems has always been going from capturing incredible content to getting it to a useful form, like a video to share on social media.
It's still not a one-click solution for sharing content, but Quik is definitely one of the better automatic editing apps on the market, and making it easier to get content to Quik is a step in the right direction.
One step away from one-button sharing
I think the holy grail for GoPro is being able to share content to social media straight from your camera. Still images, edited videos, and even live content have to be on the horizon for GoPro, because competitors and smartphones are already offering these features.
Easier editing and sharing is a nice step forward and makes using a GoPro camera just a little bit easier. But QuikStories isn't the "biggest leap forward" GoPro has made since the original GoPro. What I see is at least a path to that leap forward to live content or easy social-media sharing, with QuikStories being a stepping stone along the way.
GoPro has a lot to prove in the next two months
This is a crucial time for GoPro, and my concern as an investor is that the company is being distracted by incremental improvements rather than making the fundamental improvements that will drive the business forward. In the next two months, we should see the launch of a new action camera, probably the Hero 6, which needs to be a hit this holiday season. The Fusion spherical camera is also entering a pilot program ahead of its launch later this year. And we should see some kind of improvements for the Karma drone after competitor DJI's new products really put GoPro's offering to shame.
We may get some answers about the company's future on Aug. 3, when GoPro reports second-quarter earnings. But don't expect QuikStories to be the game-changer GoPro needs in 2017. It's a nice feature, but new products are really what's going to drive a turnaround at GoPro.