Back in the Spring, when Instagram was being sold to Facebook, the tech and social media press started to turn their attention to so-called Instagrams of video. By that they meant the mobile video social networks, of which Socialcam and the (iOS only) Viddy were in the forefront.
In May for example, the talk was of Viddy having 26 million users and Socialcam 36 million. But taking a video is different to taking a photo. It’s more difficult to get it to look good (despite fancy filters), there is more effort involved and some people just don’t feel at home with it.
Instagram boss Kevin Systrom thought so too at June’s Le Web London conference, questioning whether the mass of consumers would be willing to tolerate the few minutes it takes to shoot, edit and upload mobile videos given that photos takes seconds.
Systrom did however say that he saw some promise in animated gif service Cinemagram, with the production of animated gifs becoming both almost an art form for some enthusiasts.
Turns out he might be right. Last month Techcrunch talked about the growth of Cinemagram, at no10 in the US iOS photo app charts, as well Snapchat (which displays your photo for 10 seconds only).
What about mobile video? Business Insider reports that Socialcam’s numbers have ‘vaporised.’
Apparently, Socialcam and Viddy between them now only have around five million users, compared to 100 million as was previously the case - the reason being that Facebook has cracked down on apps such as Socialcam which essentially tricked users into installing the app to watch videos. In other words, 95% of those 100 million weren’t real users.
Viddy, which restricts videos to 15 seconds, does I personally think have potential though due to the mobile friendly 15 second length and celebrity users such as Justin Bieber. However, Business Insider says that due to some onerous terms from investors - the founders and employees could be pushed to the side if the numbers don’t increase.