The release of Facebook Camera last week confirmed that sharing images is a very big part of why people use the social network. Now, video is taking its place alongside photos with popular apps and a new trending videos feature in users' timelines.
According to app-tracking site AppData, Socialcam is the fastest growing app on the network. About 54 million people use it each month to post and view videos from friends and celebrities (some of them Socialcam-famous celebs). And at the No. 5 spot is its competitor Viddy, with about 32 million users. [ How to Get Started with Viddy ]
Socialcam and Viddy feel a bit like YouTube in the early days — a mishmash of generally mediocre, sometimes painful and occasionally dumb-but-can't-turn-away clips. Top Socialcam videos today (May 29) include a burger with amazingly gooey cheese, a guy getting stunned by a Taser (voluntarily), and a Houston Astros game. Among friend's videos, we saw an infant waking from a nap and a walk down the street to show how nice the weather was.
No "Chocolate Rain," Evolution of Dance" or even "Charlie Bit My Finger" yet. And a woman who goes by "The Roxie," posting amazingly uneventful videos, is at best a proto-iJustine.
But if YouTube is any indicator, we will keep watching, and it will get more interesting. Viddy's limitation to 15 seconds per clip may even provide Twitter-like motivation for to-the-point creativity — something that The Roxie could learn from. [ Video App Socialcam Runs Risk of Oversharing ]
And better sharing may make these social video networks grow quickly. With YouTube, we had to email and later MySpace- and Facebook-post the links. With Socialcam and Viddy, sharing is built in.