It’s like Instagram, except it’s for video!
As far as elevator pitches go, that one is gold. Which is probably why there are already a couple of apps vying for dominance in the space.
Ad Age profiles Viddy and SocialCam, noting that brands are “flocking” to these apps. Maybe flock is a little strong. GE, PepsiCo, and Discovery are among the first brands working with these apps.
SocialCam is the bigger of the two with about 50 million members. It’s basically a social network for videos, most of which are shot on mobile devices. But content producers get a little extra firepower in the form of filters and soundtracks, so there’s clearly a cool factor that YouTube doesn’t offer. Viddy has a similar setup and about 36 million members. But its videos are limited to 15 seconds, which makes it a little more the Twitter of the Instragram-for-video niche.
Of course, these are just two of the biggest names in the space. The Wall Street Journal has a piece talking about five startups that are all trying to become the Instagram of video. So as long as the VC dollars last, there won’t be any shortage of hype.
But back to those brands. Is this really the next big thing in branded video content? I’m not so sure. Promotions like this one for Discovery’s Shark Week are great, but that kind of quality won’t last long when a thousand other brands that don’t know what they’re doing carpet bomb the space. To some extent, the late arrivals always ruin the party. But with these apps there’s a real danger that we’re going to be looking at a lot of awful content because their whole pitch is juicing up the iPhone videos that have never really have been ready for primetime. In other words, brands now have a platform that allows them to distribute cheap-looking content with just a little production value (really post-production value). That’s bad potentially bad news. But the bigger question comes down to money.
Right now, the brands that are using these apps don’t appear to be paying.
When distribution on these apps is worth buying, it’s worth you’re marketing budget. But right now, the idea of Instagram for video seems like a cool experiment — one that certainly benefits savvy early adopting brands, but may not change the game. Until then, these apps are just fun… and that’s not such a bad thing.