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Mobile Apps Color, Socialcam, and Qik Let Users Shoot and Share

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Capturing video on your mobile device is so quaint. Shooting, editing, and sharing those videos on social networks has become old school. So it stands to reason that mobile video is retro enough to be cool again. That might explain the recent flurry of social video apps, but it definitely doesn’t explain the return of Pabst Blue Ribbon, teal- colored Ray-Bans, and pegged jeans. Hipster culture aside, the latest group of simple, focused video sharing apps is a breath of fresh air for function and usability. Here are three spicy video apps that are breathing new life into the ancient art of shooting and sharing.

Color (iPhone/Android)

The launch of Color is a fantastic blend of hype and substance that has forced a simple video/photo sharing iPhone app into the center of a raucous debate. Are we in a second tech bubble? Is $41 million in funding too much for a location-based media sharing app mashup? Why was Color a top download in the App Store before anyone really knew how it worked? All questions aside, this app is very focused on sharing groups and is very easy to use. Record a video or snap a photo, and it instantly shares them publicly with others around you. Scroll through and find others sharing videos and photos nearby and then share a video through Twitter, Facebook, email, or MMS (multimedia messaging service). There is no functionality for following or finding others to follow; the app has been designed to be more experiential. In a world where too many features are distracting at best and ADD-inducing at worst, I like the simplicity. (http://color.com)

Socialcam (iPhone/Android)

The same minds that turned Justin.tv from a web show about two entrepreneurs into one of the largest live video platforms on the web have launched Socialcam. It’s hard to argue with its tagline: “The easiest way to share video with friends.” Focused strictly on video, this is by far one of the better sharing apps for mobile devices. After you capture a video, Socialcam automatically begins uploading while you are creating the title, tagging people, and adding keywords. Social integration with both Twitter and Facebook are smooth, and it gives you the option to email or MMS the video as well. Simple integration into your social graph is achieved through Facebook or Twitter integration. The design and layout are very clean and obviously built from the ground up for shooting and sharing. Thumbnails show four different scenes from the video and provide like, comment, and view information directly below each clip. (http://socialcam.com)

Qik (iPhone/Android/BlackBerry/Windows Mobile)

The godfather in this space, Qik has been sharing mobile video since 2008. And while Qik also offers live video, mobile-to-mobile video chat, and other live streaming features as part of the application, it still deserves a spot on this list. The sheer volume of devices this app works on makes it one of the most popular video sharing tools in existence. The user interface feels a bit older, but it still offers easy access to record, upload, and tagging buttons. Unlike the previous two apps, Qik offers an option to upload to YouTube, which is a handy feature for us senior citizens who still use that site. You can upload in the background while adding information to your video and share your video via Twitter, Facebook, email, or MMS. There are also several upgrades and paid versions available if you are looking for higher quality, more editing features, and a wider variety of options. (http://qik.com)

These latest applications are definitely making it easier (if not cooler) to shoot and share videos from the hip. Download one or all of these apps and give them a spin— quickly, before something else comes out.

This article was originally published in the June/July 2011 Streaming Media under the title Social Video Apps: Can You Dig It?

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