With Twitter's Vine and Facebook's Instagram battling it out on the video-sharing app front, Google's YouTube co-founders are smelling opportunity. Given their history in driving user-generated video into the mainstream, could their new project gain traction in a hurry?
Dubbed MixBit, the free video-sharing app made its way into Apple's App store on Thursday. The developers, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, are readying an Android version set to debut in the coming weeks, according to the New York Times.
The MixBit app and website "help people create videos together," the website explained. For example, the app lets you record, edit and publish videos as short as one second or as long as an hour from your mobile device. As a complement to the app, a website differentiates MixBit from its competitors by letting users collaborate and remix videos uploaded by the community.
Much Different Than Instagram
"Today we want to remove the barriers to video creation. That means giving people intuitive and flexible recording and remixing tools so it's easier than ever to tell meaningful stories through video," Hurley wrote in a blog post. "It means inventing new ways to encourage and enable people to collaborate with each other. And it also means exploring new approaches to identity, such as letting people upload videos without forcing them to sign up."
In his words, MixBit.com is a community of creators. He expects to see people who want to record and share pieces of their lives and the things they love -- concerts, favorite foods, trips to new places, or just hanging out with friends and family -- as well as filmmakers, citizen journalists and everyone in between. He said MixBit is also for people who enjoy playing with video in order to "create something new and unexpected."
As for the details, videos are recorded in multiple clips as long as 16 seconds each. A finished video can include as many as 256 clips, for about an hour in total length. The site explained that clips are stored as independent elements for easier editing and remixing, but play as one seamless video. You can also edit at any time -- even after your video has been published -- or save an unfinished video for later and manage multiple video projects at once.
Appealing to Younger Users
We caught up with Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, to get his take on the new competition to Instagram and Vine. He told us video remains a very hot area and pointed to AOL's $405 million acquisition of Adap.tv this week as another example.
"Vine and Instagram video have been very popular because of their simplicity and social capabilities. MixBit ads editing, extended length and the ability to create videos out of others' material," Sterling said.
"I have not tried it and so can't speak to usability but it appears to be something different that should appeal to many younger users," he added. "It probably offers marketing use cases down the line as well."