The Accessibility of Video


In January one of my friends announced that her new year’s resolution was to start taking more videos – while I thought this was a great idea and I know video cameras and smartphones have come a long way, I still didn’t buy it and I wondered if it was really all that realistic. My pessimism aside, the fact of the matter is we all love digging out the old home videos from when we were kids. Videos that our parents took with a (now vintage) Panasonic, where the video was actually a VHS tape that you could just pop into the good ole’ VHS tape player.

But over the past few years there has been a clear shift in our culture. Now, we want things immediately in an efficient way and we want to share what we’re doing with our friends and family.

I know tons of people who set a goal to take more pictures so they can catalog memories. Pictures are easy to email, text, post on various social sites and taking pictures is more convenient now than ever before, cameras are at the tips of our fingers. A recent report from Pew Research Center revealed that well beyond 50 percent of all adult Americans use a smartphone. That’s 50 percent of people who don’t even need to worry about having a camera – the camera is naturally built into the device they carry with them everywhere they go. That’s not even including the number of photo app’s that can be downloaded to our phones to make our pictures even better. In April, Instagram announced it passed  50 Million Users and that it was adding about 5 million new users a week. Clearly, people want to take pictures.

With that being said, smartphones can also easily take videos. So what’s the big hang up with taking a video? In my opinion videos take more time, they are harder to share, file sizes can be way too big to send via email, the list could probably go on and on, but those are the issues in my opinion.

Until now.

It started a few weeks ago with Vine and this week Facebook announced that it was adding video capabilities to Instagram. On June 11, TechCrunch announced that after a week on Android, Vine had surpassed Instagram on Google Play charts as the top social app. So, why all the interest in video? According to Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s co-founder, Instagram wanted to do to videos what it did to photos. The addition of video was driven by consumer demand, not by business need.

We all know this is true in customer service: Give the people what they want. And so far, the people have said – give us video applications.

Have you tried either app? What are your thoughts?

--Carrie Crabill - @cwcrabill

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