Social photography apps? You may think that bird has flown, given Facebook’s megabucks acquisition of Instagram. However, VC firms clearly think there are a few more big exits in store for this app category.

Witness an $8.5m funding round for Cinemagram, an app that claims to be “a fun and beautiful way to animate your photos”, and which was signing up 100k new users a day earlier this year, although that’s settled down to tens of thousands a day now.

All Things Digital reports that the round – led by Menlo Ventures with Atlas Venture, Khosla Ventures and Real Ventures chipping in – will help Cinemagram beef up its server capabilities to cope with the load, while also hiring more staff and developing an Android version of the app.

The interesting point here, though, is Cinemagram’s marketing potential for TV and film producers, as well as musicians and other creators who might make interesting clips for distribution on the app.

That said, if you prefer to take a more sceptical view, this is $8.5m being pumped into a glorified animated-GIF creator whose business model remains uncertain. Both views will have plenty of adherents, but now it’s Cinemagram’s job to prove the former right and the latter wrong.