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A look at micro video blogging

Andy Topps
Andy Topps12.08.2016

New social media platforms are springing up on an almost daily basis, yet the vast majority have an inevitable predictability about them – connect to your friends, join groups, post messages. So unless you were one of the early pioneers of social media, have investors with extremely deep pockets or can come up with a concept that can hold the attention of an adult or teenager (an adult has the attention span of 7 seconds), you may as well wave goodbye to a potential global audience of just over 7 billion.

According to Cisco, Globally, IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020, up from 70 percent in 2015. That’s a big appetite to feed, which means the provision of engaging video content represents a big opportunity for brand creation, product marketing and engagement for individuals and industry alike.

The emergence and apparent popularity of micro video blogging is perhaps the next big social media innovation. Since the arrival of Twitter there has been little to capture the imagination; Foursquare hasn’t really taken off in the UK mainly because the database of locations is limited and raised fears about security. Instagram is a visual micro-blogging tool that allows you to share images you have created often using filters within the application, but to be honest it’s boring – there are only so many pictures of my latte I can take!

The concept of micro video blogging is refreshing. Deliver a branded or personal message in a limited period. The challenge is undoubtedly creativity and spontaneity – how do you create a call to action in 6 seconds or create monetised value? Launched in January 2013, Vine is Twitter’s video sharing application and is according to Wikipedia the number one most downloaded free app in the App Store as of April 2013. Vine allows users to create 6 second long video clips presenting marketers with huge challenges in creating ROI. But surely the smart money would be on creating enough hype around a subject that a link to a full length advert on YouTube for example would quickly overcome the time restrictions? Andy Topps of Vital says, “The concept of Vine and YouTube is completely different. Marketers can pair YouTube videos with video ads and/or banner ad overlays, but how do you fit an ad into a six-second video? The point is that many of these new micro video blogging apps make you get straight to the point and with Vine in particular there is no time for over indulgence.”

With Vine currently only available for iOS platforms, “Viddy” looks like an ideal alternative for Android users. Viddy is an Instragam-style app and has now made it onto Google Play enabling owners of Google-powered phones to edit clips up to 15 seconds long, add retro-style filters then upload those ‘Viddy moments’ to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Andy Topps says, “There are many alternatives to Vine and many provide some neat twists to the core video blogging function. “Snapchat” is another iOS application that lets you post images and video that will disappear from a recipient’s device after a given period, anywhere between 1 and 10 seconds. “YouTube Video Capture” on the other hand allows you to post unlimited length clips which in our opinion completely misses the point of this new trend which is spontaneity and creativity. If you’re given the tools and time to re-shoot and re-edit a clip, surely the moment has been lost?”

“Show me the money” is a constant refrain in digital. Pheed (described as Twitter with a business plan!) lets users (contributors) set up a pay-wall for their own content and allows them to set the price (between £1.30 and £20 per view) for access to the content they upload. (Pheed takes a cut). Marketers should be aware that successful social media is about quality content and this is the whole ethos surrounding Pheed. Andy Topps says, “There is a lot of noise with social media, mainly because of poor content and because of this, users become focused on gaining followers in their quest for interesting posts. If the option to monetise is available, users will be motivated to create quality content and that should really get the creative juices flowing.”

Micro-video blogging may about to be the next thing in social media but it could also signal a new way to communicate with friends. “Keek” is a social blogging tool with a difference – communication is based on dialogue through short, 36 second video clips – think Twitter with video. Isaac Raichyk, CEO of Keek talks about the difference between Keek and YouTube. “We see video as a communications tool to speak to your friends using video,” he said. “It is not about entertaining or video productions. If you like to create musical productions, you can use YouTube. Keek is a more personal, authentic dialogue.”

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