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Moving Images: New Apps Making Video Sharing Mobile

Image sharing platforms have captured millions upon millions of young consumers, but fewer have ventured into mobile video. But a new wave of apps focusing on sharing moving images, from live streaming to collaborative video, and could be the start of a new trend. 

Image-based platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have seen a rapid rise in popularity thanks in large part to Millennials’ visual communication tendencies, and studies show that our brains process images faster and retain much more information when it’s delivered in a visual way. New photo sharing apps are constantly trying to break into the space, despite serious competition. But while Millennials and teens have proven their love of GIFs and clips, fewer apps have catered to their love of sharing video. Instagram and Snapchap allow for both video and photo sharing, but static images dominate most feeds. Of course Vine has been a huge success, especially with teens, but few other mobile video competitors have found success, and 21% of 13-32-year-olds use the platform, compared to 52% who use Instagram, and 40% who use Snapchat.

The issue up to now has been that though they love to share video, as their reactions, to share content, to entertain friends, it is much easier to do that on a desktop than it is to do it on a smartphone. Mobile editing can be difficult, file sizes can become unwieldy, and we won’t even get into the hurdles of trying to share a specific moment in a YouTube video while on-the-go. So static image sharing has dominated mobile visual platforms—but now a new wave of apps centered around moving images is on the scene and sharing video, from live streaming to collaborative content, could be a new trend. Here are three video apps earning buzz: 


At this point, you know it’s a mobile trend if Facebook releases a stand-alone app targeting a competitor, or snatches up a startup earning attention. Their latest mobile project is Riff, a video app that lets users collaborate on and share short videos on a specific topic. The goal seems to be to make meme participation easy: if a friend posts a video called say, “Cinnamon Challenge,” friends can then respond with their own 20-second clips participating in the activity. Videos can be shared online or on Facebook with friends tagged, but there is no commenting or liking within the app—collaboration is the real point, and video creation is supposed to feel easy and “inviting.” The app is a product of Facebook’s Creative Labs, and was inspired by the social video broadcasting the group saw during last summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon. BuzzFeed reports that Riff was “engineered to enable the quick creation of videos that are poised to go viral.” 


The buzz around Meerkat might have been overblown, but the trend of live-streaming is clearly on the rise. Twitter’s Periscope has been a major success so far, but while those two apps caught older Millennials’ (and the media’s) attention, teens are reportedly flocking to a different live-streaming platform. YouNow is an app where young consumers are hanging out with each other, chatting, creating music, and live-sleeping. (Yes, sleep—there’s even a popular #sleepsquad hashtag that trends at night.) 70% of YouNow users are under 24-years-old, and the app has devoted users, some of whom are building fan-bases with their live-streaming action . These young consumers can purchase points on the app they use to tip other users, or to keep their messages at the top of the comment section in a feed. Live-streaming channels on YouNow include #musicians, #dancing, #girls, and #truthordare—and the app says they invest a lot into keeping it a safe space for the teens who love it.


Young consumers avidly share video clips and love “snackable” content. But it takes some expertise and effort to actually create snippets of video from favorite shows and entertainment, not to mention the fact that making them is not strictly legal—until now. New app Whipclip is partnering with music labels and TV networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, and VH1 to let fans create their own video clips of content up that they can then share on social media, by email, or via text. An algorithm will pick up on users’ preferences and share promoted clips in the future. This week, Whipclip promoted their debut with the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber, providing users the opportunity to grab and share snippets of the broadcast in close to real time. The Roast is currently the “most clipped show,” according to Whipclip’s site. The app may mark the first time that young consumers are being handed the tools to edit and share the content the love, and share clips of their favorite entertainment moments without pointing their phones at their TVs and capturing blurry playback.