Without a doubt, one of the biggest social media stories of the year has been Facebook’s cool $1 billion dollar purchase of Instagram, a free photo-sharing mobile app that allows users to edit, stylize, and upload photos to several social media platforms. Instagram’s popularity and success can be attributed to a variety of things they recognized about the social media world and its users. First and foremost they appreciated the growing importance of social media on the go, and made their app fast and efficient for mobile use. They also saw the potential in enhancing a mobile photo into a work of art with digital filters: people have the tendency to be more enthused about a personalized pretty picture they created than a regular ol’ snap shot on the iPhone or Android. Since the new Facebook with Timeline has become increasingly oriented around photos and aesthetics, it is not surprising that Mark Zuckerberg would decide to purchase the best app best suited to enhance this aspect of Facebook users’ experience (and perhaps even knock out future competition). Although Instagram is still immensely popular, social media stops for no app, and the company’s success has only energized other start-up tech companies to come up with the next big media-sharing app. And this future big app on campus will undoubtedly be a video-sharing equivalent of Instagram.
Leading the way for video-sharing apps at the moment is Socialcam, which is second only to Instagram in the Apple Store’s most downloaded free Photo & Video applications. Boasting over 10 million downloads, Socialcam allows users to upload their videos to social platforms and edit videos right after taking them on their mobile device. While the formula seems to follow that of Instagram to a ‘t’, Socialcam also allows users to further personalize their mobile movies with soundtracks and custom titles, as well as with Instagram-esque digital filters.
Socialcam is one of many hopefuls in the race to be the next Instagram, and the competition is sure to heat up with apps like Viddy, Klip, and others gaining momentum. Because these apps are all free, users are able to discriminate by personal preference, aesthetic, and desired capabilities.
Viddy allows users to upload 15-second videos to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr. Like Socialcam, Viddy allows you to edit your mobile movies on the go with music, digital filters, transitions and more. The Viddy celebrity community is spearheaded by Britney Spears, who has 28.3K followers. While Viddy is the 9th most downloaded free Photo & Video app, it might be able to amass more of a following if the app was available for Android phone, as only iPhone users can enjoy Viddy now.
Klip, another iPhone-only app, offers users 20 real-time video effects. On klip.com, users can upload directly and share their movies with the klip community publicly or more privately. Klip also encourages social media platform integration not only by sharing movies on a variety of platforms, but also by enabling searchable hashtags on the klip site. Users can use hashtags in the title of their videos, track trends or find like-minded movie makers.
Video might not kill the Instagram star, but these apps are certainly the ones to keep an eye on in the upcoming months.
Have you downloaded a video-sharing app? What do you think the next Instagram will be? Let us know what you think.
- Emma Neisser
We’ve discussed the need for new content aggregators and the rise of corporate curators, but at what point will the information selectors need their own filter system?
Applications like Summify, Flipboard and Google’s already-hyped Propeller cut the middleman out of the curation equation. By applying algorithms, these services determine which stories are most relevant to individual users. While not foolproof, the apps go a long way in preventing media fatigue by delivering bite-size samples of an information feast.
Conversely, Paper.li encourages users to inject a human element into the calculation and become publishers themselves. At first the idea is appealing: Handpick the stories and then share them with your audience. The fatal flaw of this system lies in its assumption that all users have an audience with whom to share their selected stories. Efforts to dodge information overload is leading to a surplus of curators, which brings us back to square one.
Rather than searching through mountains of stories, we might very well be sifting through an equally colossal amount of curators.
— Nicole Duncan