Vine, Twitter’s app that lets you use your mobile device to edit and share six seconds of video, is capitalizing on the micro-video trend. But so far, it's only available for iPhones. This leaves everyone else, including more than 500 million Android users, out of the loop.
Journalists have already used Vine to show snippets of bombings in Turkey, create animated infographics and preview upcoming newspaper editions. And now that Vine clips can be embedded across the Web, the app offers more capability for crowdsourced news reports.
Though Vine promises an Android app in the future, here are a few free alternatives journalists can use to share flashes of news right now on Android devices as well as on iPhones:
Tout - This one-shot video app lets you record and share up to 15 seconds of continuous video to websites, social media platforms or the Tout site. ABC News, BBC News Tech and The Daily Beast have accounts, and The Wall Street Journal uses the app to share video on its video blog WorldStream. Similar to Vine, you can edit your clips with start/stop recording. This app could also be useful for adding updates to news reports. It lets you receive users’ video updates on your phone, so it's also good for keeping up with topics of interest. Journalists could use the app’s reply feature for video responses as a method for real-time engagement.
Viddy - Described as an Instagram for video, this app lets you record and share 15 seconds of video. This is also a one-shot app, but you can customize your clips with filters or music and add them instantly to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or YouTube with geolocation. You can only capture video, no audio, so the app is better suited to sharing the personality of a newsroom by showing behind-the-scenes footage or an on-the-ground view of a breaking news scene, rather than offering news with narration.
Klip - This no-frills app lets you record up to one minute of video and share it on Facebook or Twitter along with a short blurb. What you capture is what you get, as the app offers no editing or customizing options except for location tagging. Journalists could use the chat feature for instant engagement with others on Klip or get audience feedback on their videos with the emoticon rating system.
Keek - Upload 36 seconds of video with audio in a format similar to Twitter that lets you add hashtags or URLs. You can’t edit or customize the video clips, but the apps' social community could make this a good crowdsourcing tool. It also offers a free analytics tool.
Which video-sharing apps do you prefer? How have they helped you in your reporting?
Updated 6/25/13 at 5:45