Monday, 4 January 2010

12seconds: The Next Big Thing in Social Media?

Micro-blogging was undoubtedly the hot social media trend of 2009, with Twitter achieving phenomenal growth of nearly 1400% year-on-year at one point. Such was the impact of the ubiquitous Twitter that other micro-blogging platforms such as Jaiku and Tumblr hardly got a mention. So where does micro-blogging go from here?

I’m going to stick my neck out and predict that 12seconds will be the next big thing to hit micro-blogging and social media in general at some stage during 2010. Launched back in Spring 2009, still in beta testing mode and yet to really catch on, 12seconds is essentially Twitter in video form. Users can record short, 12 second ‘status update’ video blogs with their webcam or mobile to share what they’re doing, where they are and what they’re thinking. They can also then share these videos on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, blogs or anywhere else for that matter using an automatic sharing mechanism or an embedding function. And as 12seconds records, stores and streams videos, there’s no need to store large files on a PC.

So why do I think 12seconds will be the next big thing? First, people like the personalisation that video provides – it’s more engaging than a 140 character tweet. And second, we’re living in a video-streaming world where people already watch YouTube and can record and upload video on their smartphones. So it really seems to make sense that multimedia micro-blogging will take off at some stage.

But is there a business use for 12seconds? I’d argue that once it enters the public consciousness (and having just launched an iPhone app that might not be too long) there absolutely will be a business use. Many companies, Cirkle included, are building Twitter feeds and Flickr slideshows into their new websites, as well as embedding YouTube videos. So the ability to embed short, personalised video snippets into a website, either as a stream or as an independent clips will provide SMBs with a way to show off corporate personality.

Besides which, what else can you do in 12 seconds? Answers on a postcard please. Or leave a comment below…

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  1. don't agree. without knowing user numbers or having even looked at 12sec yet, i don't think it will have a major impact on the social media world... twitter and facebook work because posting comments, updates, pics is easy and easy to handle... just type in in, post it, done. i think appearing and videos and stating your personal views and comments openly always holds a threshold for many people. besides that there the technical threshold... many people still don't even have a webcam and a mic in front of them... like me at the moment.. i'm at work, working for a fast paced internet company, developing all kinds of apps and gadgets and my workplace is not equipped with what's neccessary to even use 12 sec. back to the personal threshold... i think the anonymous posting on twitter and even to some extent on facebook makes adds lots to the critical quality of these two mediums. videos will always be harder to handle than a simple plain text.
    any experienced 12 sec users around? different opinions? prove me wrong but i really don't think this will kick off...´

    p.s. what can u do in 12 secs? ... lol taping two vids on ;)

  2. Interesting point of view, Felix. But going back a year or two, people didn't think Twitter would catch on. Going further back, it was once the general concensus that SMS/text messaging wouldn't ever become mainstream. And further back than that, people even questionned the viability of email (I'm old enough to remember!).

    As far as technology goes, one of the big reasons I feel that 12seconds will take off at some stage this year is that something like 55% of people now own a smartphone with video capability, and that's growing all the time. The lack of a webcam will cease to matter for 12seconds soon when we can video ourselves and post straight to the site from our mobile device.

    We'll come back to this in 12 months and see what happened!

    Paul (Digital Director @ Cirkle)

  3. I am not so convinced that 12 seconds will be all that big of a deal either. Although it does sound like a snazzy combination of youtube and twitter, the only benefit I see it having over youtube is the ability to stream the video directly to the site (and not have to use a bunch of memory storing it first). Obviously, it has the advantage of video over twitter, but then again, why not just use youtube? Considering that youtube has a much, much larger user base (as far as social media marketing goes), at this point there is no reason to use any other service.
    -C. Graham