Everyone of you knows by now that Facebook just acquired social photo site Instagram (which all the kids are using, including mine ... which doesn't necessarily please me, but that's a different story ...). The price-tag is a cool $1 billion. Not bad for a company that launched only 1.5 years ago.
So, the logical next question is related to the obvious next frontier -- i.e., social video. Specifically, who will step up to be the "Instagram for video"? The parallels are obvious -- our smart phones are equally spontaneous HD video capture devices now. This begs for easy/instant sharing. But, video is a much harder nut to crack due to significantly larger file sizes -- and, in particular, the critical questions becomes how to send that file up into the Cloud for transcoding and delivery ... fast, fast, fast and with HD quality intact.
A number of companies are trying. Vibop is analogous to Instagram -- focuses on effects -- and is operated by San Diego-based video effects/filters company NewBlue. Givit focuses on private video sharing and is operated by OVP Vmix, another San Diego-based company. Then there is Latakoo -- which says it uniquely has "the stuff." There are, of course, a host of others. And, the stakes are high -- certainly as high as they are in the still photo sharing world. All of these, in trying to "win", should heed the lessons of Instagram, as profiled in today's TechCrunch. There are things you can control, and then things you can't -- like timing, and "the x" factor (i.e., consumer whimsy being one).
My company, Sorenson Media, transformed the video transcoding game and have unique technology for this "Instagram for video"-type product. We also already have cracked the fast-file upload issue. And, we have relevant APIs for the entire consumer video insta-sharing workflow.
Interesting, eh? Our prospective partners think so ....