CNN Drops $25 Million Investment in YouTube Star Casey Neistat’s ‘Beme’ App

YouTube Star Casey Neistat, whose app Beme was bought by CNN but is now being shut down.
Ståle Grut/NRKbeta

CNN plans to shut down social media app Beme amid an abrupt departure by the app’s creator, YouTube star Casey Neistat.

CNN has announced that they will be shutting down Beme, a social media platform they purchased from YouTube star Casey Neistat for $25 million in 2016.

Buzzfeed News reported on Thursday that CNN would be shutting down the platform slightly over a year since the purchase. They had big plans for the platform, which involved making Neistat the face of CNN for millennial viewers, who would receive their news content through the Beme platform.

Asked about the decision to leave CNN, Neistat told Buzzfeed that he felt that he was no longer bringing value to the company.

“I couldn’t find answers. I would sort of disappear, and I would hide, and I would make YouTube videos for my channel because at least I would be able yield something,” Neistat said in a comment. “I don’t think I’m giving CNN what I want to give them, and I don’t think they’re getting value from me.”

Beme, which was launched in 2015, was designed to allow users to share photos without the need to look into the screen and press the “capture” button. Users simply held their device to their chest and the app would snap and post a photo.

“You can’t be afraid to take chances if you want to stay on top of an industry that is changing every day,” Andrew Morse, general manager of CNN’s digital business, said in a statement to Buzzfeed. “This was a chance worth taking — we built products and developed key talent that has made CNN stronger.”


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