Viddy has climbed to the top of the fastest-growing Facebook apps chart this week, more than doubling its users from 4 million to 8.7 million. That could be thanks to Monday's investment from production companies that Jay-Z and Will Smith head. But it could also be the "Instagram effect" — Viddy offers iPhone owners hip video effects, has its own social community and allows one-button sharing to Facebook. Sound familiar? Viddy is a lot like Instagram and appears to be poised for the same meteoric rise in popularity. All Viddy videos must be 15 seconds or less in length, which makes super-cool videos on-the-go possible. Viddy offers video packs that pair a visual effect with a short soundtrack. Artists including Snoop Dogg, Incubus and Linkin Park are available. Best of all, many of these packs are free. Getting started is easy. Here's how:
- Download Viddy from iTunes — it's free.
- Choose whether or not to link Viddy to your Facebook account. If you do, you can specify what activity will be shared such as videos you watch and "like."
- Browse videos to get an idea of what Viddy members are posting — you'll see a lot of wannabe singers, tricks on anything with wheels and pets. Check out "Featured" to see the site owners' top picks, including "Clones Can Shuffle?" (Extended version.)
- Ready to produce your own? Tap the lens icon at the bottom of your screen. You can choose a video from your library or start shooting. You'll see the timer countdown from 15. Tap the checkmark to begin editing. Choose a filter: vintage, black and white or crystal; each comes with its own soundtrack. Tap "More" to go to the Viddy Marketplace where you'll find many more free packs and a few for up to $2.
- Once you're satisfied with your video, tap "Next" for labeling, privacy and sharing options. You can use hashtags (#) to categorize your video, tag people you're following on Viddy or add location information. Viddy automatically serves up a list of nearby places.
- Now choose your privacy options. What's most impressive is that you can select the lock icon to make a video visible to only yourself — an option unavailable in Instagram . This is especially helpful for beginners who may not be ready to share their results with the community.
- Finally, you can post directly to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, along with the Viddy stream.