Can SocialCam and Viddy Challenge Video Giant YouTube?
In the growing avalanche of apps for smartphones, a couple of video sharing startups really caught fire this year, and the result is making video junkies very happy. In the dark days before SocialCam and Viddy hit the net, uploading video was clumsy and slow. Options included sending an SMS with a video so compressed that it might feature your dog or your daughter...hard to say. Or you could upload to the granddaddy of social video sharing, YouTube. If you had the time. The new generation is smooth, fast, and easy, with tools built in to help process the video on the fly.
Download and open the SocialCam app, and you log in immediately to Facebook, where you'll see your friends who are also using the program. You shoot your video using the app, and then edit, add titles and tag friends on the fly, even as you upload the video. Videos you post are shared on your timeline and on friends' pages, and you can also choose to send it out via SMS, Email, or Twitter. Or you can keep it private and share it with only selected contacts. Like other social networking sites, SocialCam offers a social infrastructure with the ability to like and comment on friend's videos.
The app is offered by JustinTV and built on its stable live streaming infrastructure. One feature of SocialCam that's drawn some criticism for being too spammy – and sparked the techie bloggers to create detailed instructions about changing privacy settings – is the often hilarious result of accidental sharing. Who really needs to know that Mom watches “ooh I love that dirty bass dance” and “Snack Cake Cake Cake Cakes?”
Viddy also offers a seamless streaming video upload– with a twist: filters to give your videos a dated, vintage feel similar to what Instagram does to photos. You can apply filters to finished videos or as you shoot, and streaming upload is fast and easy. Video upload and sharing is similar to SocialCam, plugged directly into social media and open to comments and feedback from a rich social environment or from familiar established networks on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media platforms.
Who is behind Viddy? Everybody. Viddy has attracted some high-powered star backing, including Shakira, Jay-Z and Will Smith. Skateboard superstar Rob Drydek and soccer star Gerard Pique are also on board, along with some well-known business moguls. Less than a year old, Viddy is attracting 300,000 new users every day.
Why SocialCam and Viddy Matter to Social Video
The biggest difference between the two services and YouTube is video length. YouTube videos average 2-5 minutes in length, SocialCam videos average 60-80 seconds, and Viddy allows a maximum of 15 seconds. While 15 seconds may not seem like much, funny videos of this length can be shared and enjoyed extensively. Properly executed video campaigns could benefit from the short attention span-serving nature of Viddy sharing.
What makes these startups most interesting is the single-minded focus on the tools people are using today, and it's this agility to address tablet computers and smartphones that could wind up displacing older, more established websites like YouTube. Even backed by the deep pockets at Google, YouTube could find itself struggling to keep up, much in the same way Google once steamrolled Yahoo and Facebook annihilated MySpace.
Have you adopted SocialCam and Viddy yet? Can you think of any ways that these two platforms could be better suited to your next video marketing campaign than YouTube, or would you include them in addition to a YouTube marketing campaign?
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