Oh hi there.
This morning I woke up to an update for Instagram that allows you to shoot 15 second video clips, complete with filters and a thumbnail chooser.
Although there are more options than Vine, the interface is very smooth, making the experience of sharing video on Instagram better than it’s Twitter owned rival.
In fact the 30 mins I have had with the update has really highlighted the shortcomings of Vine, an app I really want to succeed.
So I have highlighted 3 areas where Vine can improve, to make sure they aren’t steamrollered by a wave of Instagram video creativity…
1. Improve stability - Do whatever you have to do, disable autoplay, R&D a new codec, whatever. Right now almost half the vine videos in my stream refuse to play. I thought this was a minor inconvenience until today, when I realised Instagram have been able to pull this off without so much as a stutter.
2. Straight of the Instagram playbook, let’s have a grid view for videos on profiles. I get tired of scrolling, so I miss some great stuff, and spend less time in the app.
3. Integrate Vine with the Twitter app - This might sound crazy, but if Twitter are serious about this, they need more installs/accounts. A quick way to do this would be to make the video sharing button on the Twitter app a vine button, that auto signs you up. In theory it sounds odd, but how many people signed up for Twitpic without realising it?
4. Improve the stability of the app. Its worth making the point twice. I’m serious, it’s like wading through treacle. I only do it because I love the creativity. Carry on iterating at this rate and your creatives will defect to the smoother experience and larger audience.
and I think that’s it. Over the next few days I will be shooting the same videos twice, because I can’t choose between these apps two right now.
It looks like Marissa Mayer has been making tentative enquiries:
“Sources said Mayer also had an extensive getting-to-know-you meeting, which was apparently not held at Hulu’s offices in Santa Monica, Calif., along with COO Henrique De Castro.”
Let’s hope those content deals with the networks aren’t expiring any time soon.
I am very interested to see whether this will be supported by both parties, and reported in broadcasters ratings press releases.
This week The Verge are running a large feature on the future of TV, and the war for distribution of content. Articles include reviews of current VOD hardware, often dragged down by patchy software, to visionary interviews by CEO’s claiming to want to democratise, but surely aiming to be the next Rupert Murdoch.
My thoughts are that nobody has cracked it yet, and I believe this is down to software engineers not being lovers of TV. When I watch a show on Apple TV, the show finishes and it takes me back to the synopses of the episode I just watched, instead of pushing me to the next ep, you realise this is software written by someone with no love for bingeing on TV for hours on end.
When you can’t actually navigate 4OD on a PS3 properly with the bluetooth remote, it reminds you that the person who coded the app never sat back and tried to watch two episodes of Peep Show in a row.
Even the idea of throwing youtube to your TV with the new app via airplay mirroring can’t be done for more than a few minutes without your iPhone reaching epic new temperature highs.
What I’m saying is that software engineers at the big players need a dose of reality. They need to sit down with the common man and observe his TV watching habits. They only need tweaking. The best interface I have come across is Netflix on a PS3. You get the basic information, if you don’t touch the remote it will keep loading up episode after episode, and it does what all good interfaces do, puts as few layers as possible between you and your favourite programs.
Stop trying to complicate things, more people will buy your product, and one day very soon we will look back at the quaint 30 year period where we all fitted satellites to the side of our houses to access 500 channels.
As a side note, I think there is enough interest in the future of television to start a dedicated website. What say you, Joshua Topolsky?
Don’t miss the War for TV on The Verge right now.
Ironically, it started with Apple removing their old, old Youtube app from the iPhone, in the hope of ridding Google and their information gathering ways from iOS.
The problem was, everybody immediately went to the app store and downloaded Google’s shiny new Youtube app, and if their experience was anything like mine discovered a whole new world of delights.
I subscribed to a few channels, added email notifications for when new shows have been uploaded to the feed. and I tell you, it really works. The way in which Google have funded some channels has allowed for some high quality, compelling content.
and that segues neatly into today’s news that ABC will be airing a show that started as a Youtube funded original production. Recipe Rehab is cooking show that will expand to 30 mins for broadcast.
Everyday Health Inc., which launched the healthy-cooking series “Recipe Rehab” in April on its YouTube “channel,” said it is making longer, 30-minute episodes of the show, which will appear on nearly all stations affiliated with Walt Disney Co.’s ABC.
Although Google will be losing the exclusivity of this show, they can be proud that their funding has led to a wider audience watching some quite niche content.