The success of Instagram and other photo sharing apps has paved the way for a second band of easy file sharing solutions in the form of social video apps. Still a relatively new phenomenon, a handful of these tools are swiftly gathering momentum and popularity, making them a worthwhile consideration for any small business looking for fresh new ways to engage with brand advocates, potential clients and social media users.
Social video apps are cut from the same cloth as Twitter and Instagram in that they are intrinsically straightforward to use, focus on a swift and easy transition of media from phone to web and make social sharing possible with the click of a button.
As video content is often something that many smaller brands struggle to get to grips with due to the prohibitively high cost of hiring a crew and equipment, social video apps are a good way to get started with video content without dedicating an entire year’s marketing budget to the task.
With the medium still in its infancy, three clear leaders are emerging in the marketplace. Each is worth trying in order to find one that best suits your method of working.
1. Viddy (http://www.viddy.com)
Simplistic with a short-is-sweet approach to video, the Viddy app has a 15-second limit on files transmitted via its platform. This limit can seem restrictive at first, but consider how Twitter’s character limit has forced your tweets to remain focused, and the 15-second rule can be taken to be an advantage. If nothing else, it will encourage your videos to be creative and informational, condensing all important messages down into a snippet of time. This is also a strength for those new to shooting their own videos and sharing online, as the permitted limit removes the pressure to be complex.
When you have recorded your video, Viddy allows you to apply a selection of cinematic effects and choose from a limited number of music tracks. You can then use one-click sharing to post to Twitter, Facebook, etc. as you see fit. Currently this app is an iPhone exclusive.
2. Socialcam (http://socialcam.com)
Socialcam has been dubbed the “most talked about video app” by the New York Times. It is free for iPhone and Android. Like Viddy, Socialcam also offers a choice of cinematic effects, but this time you can choose which filter to apply before you hit the record button. You can then add descriptive text and soundtracks to add a polished finishing touch.
When you’re happy with your video, the same one-click sharing technology allows you to post your clip to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter as well as send via SMS and email. Storage is cloud-based so there is no limit on file size, making it a good choice for those with a strong creative direction and more experience of making videos for business use.
3. Mobli (http://www.mobli.com)
A smartphone app for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices, Mobli allows users to share photos and videos with other users. The site is split into channels, which are subject-based and follow a set theme (for example, people, places and topics).
Like Viddy and Socialcam, Mobli makes a limited selection of filters available to users to enhance the overall quality of the finished photo or video before sharing. Prior to uploading an image or a video clip, you can also tag your content with a specific location and event, making it easier to attract more qualified traffic to your social sharing.