Industry news to clock, trends to watch, apps to try… here’s your social homework for this week.
Friends, Cameras, Action!
It’s a trend has been building up for quite some time, but ever since Kevin Systrom decided to help Zuck & Co. sleep better at night, social video apps have truly hit their stride. Many of these self-proclaimed “Instagram for video” offerings have achieved buzz-worthy viral growth through careful manipulation of Facebook’s Open Graph, the App Store, and popular YouTube videos. Tiny staffs, massive rounds of funding, and early exits such as SocialCam’s $60 million acquisition by Autodesk last week are only fuelling the fire.
However, a new iOS app called Vyclone might just have what it takes to differentiate itself in this crowded space. Describing itself as “the simplest and fastest way to co-create, sync and edit multiple videos of a shared event,” it is able to seamlessly splice together video footage shot by people in close proximity. Through patented synchronization technology, Vyclone is able to instantly capture all of the angles of an event into a single masterpiece. Raw footage is provided, videos can be remixed to your liking and simple sharing across other networks and filters come as standard too. Obviously. Currently limited to four videos at a time, it will clearly need to scale significantly to reach its full potential. Regardless, expect to see some serious usage in the upcoming Olympic month.
The democratisation of content creation continues apace, and the ubiquity of real-time collaboration means that self-expression now reaches the standards of professional production. Enter Ptch. Incubated from within DreamWorks Animation, this new iOS app seeks to simplify quality digital storytelling for up to 60 seconds at a time.
Users drag-and-drop photos and videos from their camera roll or social networks, select a theme, and add music to create unique “Ptches” to be shared across their digital footprints. There are clear similarities to Animoto, but this level of customization and granular control is unmatched. Additionally, all Ptches can be remixed to give the story your own personal touch (unless, of course, you decide to keep it locked) – collaboration is at the heart of the Ptch team’s philosophy. With both a dedicated iPad app and desktop version on the way, expect to see a strong critical mass of passionate users by the time they take on Android.
Defining itself as “four-dimensional storytelling”, Meograph has just launched its first public beta. Attempting to find a sweet spot between viral videos and infographics, the tool combines facts, multimedia, interactivity and context. By joining Google Earth with an animated timeline and video overlays, it helps to better articulate and understand complex events. No need for Final Cut Pro or Photoshop; each story can be created in minutes and is easily digested as well as fully embeddable. It may be particularly useful for educators and journalists, but there are plenty of opportunities for us all to experiment. Get playing.