Since the billion dollar acquisition of Instagram by Facebook, the phrase "Instragram for Video" has taken on an added meaning related to expensive mergers. However, for music marketing, the mobile video sharing equivalent of Instagram is one that's easy, popular and primed for network effects that can help one's off-the-cuff promo clips feed fans and lure in new followers. Viddy took an early lead in this role but Socialcam's recent growth makes it a strong contender.
- Focus on quick clips with filters for easy added visual effects.
- Have their own onsite networks but are growing with the help of Facebook.
- Include the involvement of music celebrities.
- Are free and available as both iOS and Android apps.
- Occupy top spots on the iTunes free apps chart.
They share some similarities to Instagram in that they make it easy to share video clips just as Instagram makes it easy to share photos. But though Instagram was built almost entirely on the iPhone and doesn't have easy accessibility to photos on its website except through third parties, both Viddy and Socialcam embraced Android early in their trajectory and have publicly accessible networks on their website that are linked from the front page.
Though video sharing has been much slower to take off than photo sharing, Viddy and Socialcam seem to be breaking through that barrier. Viddy was leading the pack but as of the latest claims, Viddy is said to have at least 16 million users while Socialcam has 20 million. A lot of that growth has been in the last few months with things heating up over the last couple of weeks.
Also of note is that Viddy's Facebook app currently has 28 million monthly users while Socialcam's Facebook app has 25.3 million. However both deal with Facebook in odd ways. Searching for Viddy's Facebook app ends up redirecting you to viddy.com. Viddy has a Facebook page though Socialcam does not. Trying to view videos on Facebook from either app takes you to their website. But viewing videos on Socialcam requires you to go add the app on Facebook.
These bizarre attributes and many differences between the services are only a development cycle away from change but they show how screwy things can get when semiwalled gardens attempt to interact.
That said, though YouTube and Vimeo are more open both Viddy and Socialcam allow you to share videos on other services. According to these quick guides, both Viddy and Socialcam allow sharing to YouTube and Tumblr though you'll want to check the results for yourself.
However, Socialcam allows you to post and store longer videos. Such features will probably change rapidly as Viddy and other video sharing apps start competing more seriously but, right now, Socialcam seems to have acquired an edge by removing those limits.
Viddy's early uptake by high profile socially active musicians such as Snoop Dogg and T-Pain initially made them frontrunners in the celebrity music scene. But that didn't give them enough of a lead and now celebs like Britney Spears are signing up for Socialcam.
Of course, celebrity presence doesn't define the usefulness of a social network to working musicians. They tend to help overall numbers but fans driven by celebs aren't necessarily as accessible as fans driven by indie music and other interests. So keep an eye on the numbers but consider such questions as:
- Are your leading fans installing either Facebook app and posting or sharing videos in their feeds?
- Do the attributes of either service fit your promotional style as they begin to differentiate themselves?
- Can you get more traction on a new network or is it a more valuable use of your time to focus on services such as YouTube and Vimeo?
If you're making productive use of Socialcam, Viddy or other mobile video sharing apps to promote your music, please let us know in the comments.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith blogs about business at Flux Research: Business & Revenue Models and maintains an audio blog at snd1.mobi. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.