Sooner or later, a social networking site for video blogging is going to be as popular as Twitter and Facebook. With more and more people owning cellphone video cams, it makes sense to shoot and post a quick video to your friends and followers.
Well, it looks like a fairly new iPhone and Android app named Socialcam might very well become the Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram of video sharing on the net.
How It Works
Socialcam has some advantages over the previous and similar video sharing sites in that there’s no limitation to the length of videos and storage of content. You can also share existing videos from your video library.
As with Twitter and Facebook, your posted videos become part of your Socialcam stream that your followers and the general public can view. You can also set videos to be viewed privately or only by your followers, and of course your video stream can be linked or posted to your other social networking sites, including YouTube, Tumblr, Posterous, and even to your Dropbox account. You can also send via SMS.
How to Shoot Videos
If you know how to use the videocam on your iPhone or Android, you’re set to go on Socialcam. After you set up an account, via Facebook or your email account, you simply shoot your video – typically using the front facing camera of your smartphone.
Socialcam will recommend a handful of very popular Socialcamers whose posts demonstrate how easy it is to shoot a video about whatever is on your mind. Celebrities like MC Hammer, Soulja Boy, Carl Thomas, Shira Lazar, The Roxie, and TMZ already have a huge following and collection of posted videos. But don’t think you have to be a celebrity to post on Socialcam. Most ordinary cammers share about their personal day and activities.
Themes & Filters
Another little cute feature for Socialcam videos are the app’s themes and soundtracks. When you’re done shooting your video, you can add one of about twelve introduction themes to your production.
I’ve been using the Journal theme, which is great if you plan to use Socialcam for vlogging. Other themes add a centered title or subtitle to your production. You can test out the theme before applying it to your video.
Socialcam also has a nice assortment of background soundtracks for different occasions – from action to more melodious sounds. Not everyone uses them, but I find they make videos easier to listen to. Fortunately, you can also preview your video (and change the theme or soundtrack) before posting to your stream.
You can change the title and privacy settings of video posts at any time by tapping the Info button at the bottom of a post, and then tap the gear button at the top. This is also the same area for sharing to other websites.
It takes a few minutes for videos to post to your public stream, but it’s all done in the background, so you can check out other videos or open other apps while your video is being uploaded. You’re notified when the upload is complete.
Of course most people share videos online so they can be seen. If you already have an extensive social network following, Socialcam makes it dead simple to invite your followers to view your posts on Socialcam.
If you don’t have many contacts and you’re looking to build a following on Socialcam, I suggest you tap the Popular button in the bottom menu on Socialcam. From there, tap on the Trending button, and then check out the dozen or so trending topics of interests. This is a good way to discover Socialcamers beyond the celebrities or popular posters.
If you don’t see a topic of interest, start your own. I noticed one topic called the “#coffeecrew” consisting Socialcamers who like coffee. This gave me the idea to start a “jazzcrew” for jazz lovers.
When you produce a video, use the title space to add your tags. Unfortunately there’s not a special entry for tags separate from the title.
Just as you do on Twitter and Facebook, you can also attract followers by simply following other members and leaving comments. You can set up your Socialcam account to automatically link to your social networking sites. As you begin to add friends, you can specifically tag them to let them know you’ve posted a video, particularly if you mentioned their name in it. Even after you post a video, you can simply tap the tiny Info button, select Friends > Tag Friends, and tap the names you want to tag. The same can be done for Facebook friends.
Will Socialcam catch on like Instagram or Twitter? It’s hard to tell. I personally find the site a little addictive, and that may be a problem, because watching videos is more time consuming than viewing a stream of photos or reading tweets. But I think once you get active on Socialcam, it can become a great way to befriend like-minded people. Or if you don’t care much about building a following, Socialcam can become your personal vlog or video journal.
For other ideas about vlogging, check out these articles:
- 5 YouTube Vlogs To Put On Your Web Video Watching List
- Viddy – Micro Video Blogging For iPhone Users
- Make Professional Looking iPhone 4 & iPad 2 Videos Using Videolicious
- Showyou Shows You The Videos Your Friends Are Sharing
Let us know what you think of Socialcam. Are you presently using it? What do you like about it? What features would you like to see added?