Online entertainment is all about immediacy. Any thrill which is delivered in minutes stands no chance of competing with one delivered in seconds. It follows then, that social video montage startup Snapcuts is streamlining its product with the introduction of a simplified and more instantly gratifying version of its mobile experience in the new Snapcuts Facebook app.
Users of the Facebook app can snap together video clips from popular and classic movies, television shows, and commercials in “paint by numbers” fashion which the company calls QuikSnap. The app offers a set number of new three to ten second clips each week which can be arranged into five slots for to create a personalized video montage — or SnapCut — that can then be shared across the social network.
With each new batch of clips, users have the option to use an “opposing viewpoints” button which offers contradicting sentiments like good versus bad mood, or get together versus break up. Fitting directly within the activities users already perform on Facebook today, SnapCuts users can now use the service easily create an expressive video message to say anything from “Congrats” to “I’m having a bad day.” Users can also add a personalized note in the standard Facebook status bar to further communicate their mood or impression of the mash up.
The company’s mobile app, whose launch I covered previously, offers additional flexibility and functionality that is unnecessary within the social network.
I pointed out in that previous article that the SnapCuts content library is more “‘The Three Stooges’ than ‘The Simpsons’ or ‘Game of Thrones,’” although the selection is growing more modern daily. This classic content leaning has the potential to create a disconnect with the Facebook generation, although due to the hyper-short and expressive nature of the clips, the message is actually far more important than the source in most cases.
In addition to rolling out QuikSnap in its Facebook app, SnapCuts plans to whitelabel the platform to other publishers and content creators. Founder and CEO Bee Ottinger is no stranger to working with Hollywood publishers and premium brands, having earned personal fame as a video editing pioneer with credits in some of the biggest music videos and commercials of the last quarter century. She has succeeded thus far in gaining access to premium content and says that equally exciting development partnerships are in the works as well.
Social video is all the rage these days with all manner of products flooding the market. That said, few allow users to use premium content which has been professionally edited into bite-sized clips to create their own personal messages. Based on this, SnapCuts is fairly unique and has the potential to become the social Web’s answer to singing telegrams or lame e-cards.
The three year old startup faces an uphill challenge to grow awareness and build an engaged community of users sharing personalized video montages. If anything, with the addition of Facebook’s virality there will be nowhere to hide. Users will either catch on in droves or the service will fall flat alongside the multitude of other seemingly novel social video products. In either case, rapid feedback its far better than the alternative. Like everything else online, product iteration is about immediacy too.