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The Rise of Smartphone Video-Sharing Apps
By: Jennifer Stack
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The rise of smartphone video-sharing apps is now. Launched only February 1, 2012, Socialcam is billing itself as “The easiest way to take and share videos.” The videos can be any length and can be customized with filters à la Instagram. Most impressively, the videos are stored in the cloud and are viewable from any device, making the perfect storm for social sharing; there is already an integrated way to share to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, email, and even SMS! 

The only downside to Socialcam is that the app is currently limited to the desktop and iPhone platforms (Sorry, Android addicts!). Social integration is at the app’s core, with a Facebook Connect login account allowing for an immediate Socialcam network and full feed. Its predecessor and current competitor, celebrity favorite viddy.com, was launched in 2011 and now boasts high-profile celebrity members like Bill Cosby, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Katie Couric, and Soulja Boy, amongst others. Viddy similarly bills itself as “One-click sharing to the social web, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube". Viddy maintains the social echelon by enabling a simple, one-click sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube. It's less alienating, as it is device agnostic (rejoice iPhone, Android, IPad, and Windows users!) Viddy also ups the ante by allowing both Facebook and Twitter to connect and create accounts and bridge networks. Which one will Facebook acquire? The only clue is that Mark Zuckerberg currently has an account on Viddy.com

Another contender is Klip, which differentiates itself by incorporating a trends element, similar to Twitter and YouTube, and an emphasis on video discovery vs. creation; Mobli, another similar app, diversifies as a self-described “real-time visual media platform made up of subject-based channels such as people, places and topics. Mobli enables users to see the world through other peoples’ eyes!” Essentially, they are offering users the chance to create and share subject-based media in an effort to appeal to those individuals that are organizationally inclined. Mobli puts in its bid to Facebook by offering potential users an option to sign up through Facebook.

Most importantly, all of these apps are free; a key component to scaling a large network as digital natives today won’t spend a dime for something they know will eventually become free in a version 2.0. This next wave in the consumer app lifestyle offers two messaging paths for brands. The first and most obvious is the paid advertising placements within the apps. The second and harder communication method is to create branded accounts to push messaging and dialogue within the video apps. Both offer extremely valuable opportunities for brands’ advertising and marketing initiatives and to the apps' own business models.

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About the Author
Jennifer Stack is a Social Media Strategist at a digital advertising agency. She was a 2011 Notable.ca YP Social Media Finalist. International Marketing Communication, MA. International Marketing Strategy, MSc. LinkedIn + Twitter.
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