[Editor's note: Today we have a video post, in the spirit of Whiteboard Friday. Check out the short video or, if you prefer, read the transcript below.]
How long should your video be? People all over the internet have been asking this for ages! For a long time, the idea was that shorter was better, but recent evidence suggests that long-form  videos are now proving more popular, and even YouTube and Vimeo are prioritizing this video content in their search rankings.
However, Tout and Vine are looking to move the trend back to short video. And when I say short, I mean short. Tout offers 15-second video posts, while Vine (from Twitter) offers 6 seconds. The concept of the platforms is to allow only “clips” or video snapshots, rather than long-winded or over-produced content. It’s an interesting direction for video, but it could be the perfect synergy of video and the short attention spans of social networking.
So why now? Well, it’s an interesting one – Facebook, Google+ and YouTube already allow users to record videos straight to their social feed, without such short time limitations. So where do Tout and Vine fit in? Perhaps it is as simple as trying to encourage a new trend, and, by taking away the issue of time, push non-users into using video more and more. And people do say good things come in small packages...
The Popularity of Short Sociability
Perhaps the biggest reason that companies like Tout and Vine are looking to popularize short video social posting is down to the success of short social interactions. Given that Twitter is the bird behind Vine, they know all too well how successful short, simple social posting has become. This connection seems a pretty strong and sensible reason to introduce something like Vine, and Tout – with the might of WWE behind it – seems to be following the same route. Online video has been growing in popularity year after year, and maybe Tout and Vine seem an opportunity to bypass the noise of YouTube, and offer a specific short and sociable video platform.
Tout Vs. Vine
Image Credit: Glenn Zucman
Debating whether 6 seconds or 15 seconds is a more effective duration of online video won’t be clear until Vine has had enough time to generate some clear statistics. Although when you think about it, whilst still very short, Tout’s video duration is actually more than double Vine’s video duration. That may not seem like a lot, but given that the difference in duration is well over half we may find that there is actually a considerable difference between the two when stats are produced.
In terms of app popularity Tout has been around for some time, allowing it to whip up quite a considerable following so far, which certainly puts it ahead of Vine for the moment. But given that Vine is being backed by Twitter it may only be a matter of time before it completely dominates the short-form social video sharing field. However, it’s worth noting that despite the companies and funding behind the two platforms, both are still relatively unknown to a lot of online audiences, which means the battle for short-form social video is about to begin.
Andy Havard is a Marketing Executive at Skeleton Productions , a UK-based corporate video production company.