MixBit is tailor-made for brands2013-08-13
If marketers love Vine and Instagram, it should take about 15 seconds for them to jump on MixBit.
Launched last Thursday by YouTube co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, MixBit is the latest social visual communication tool to compete in an increasingly crowded field that also includes household names like Pinterest and Tumblr, along with services with high hopes like Streamzoo, Hipster, Snapseed, Viddy, Keek, and scads of others.
MixBit’s spin, though, is unique. While the 16-second recording length is one whopping second longer than Instagram’s limit (and 10 seconds longer than Vine’s—a lifetime!), it’s what you can do after you’ve posted your clip that’s different. Using your own clips or those of others, you can assemble a full video up to an hour long. According to the terms of service:
Other users can re-use your content in their projects. The Service is collaborative and re-using content shared by others is allowed and encouraged. Videos or other content you upload to the Service may be re-used by others in their own projects on the Service (but not on other sites or in other ways not related to using the Service). The only way to prevent this is not to upload a video in the first place or to remove it if you’ve changed your mind about having it be available.
After only a few days, already there are great examples of videos users have assembled from available clips, like this one featuring street musicians:
Most of the videos I’ve watched so far users have assembled from their own clips; most likely there isn’t enough variety yet to inspire the creation of videos from multiple sources. I’ve seen videos showing the process of making tea, offering various views of Paul McCartney’s performance at Outside Lands, demonstrating how to pack for a tropical surfing vacation, outlining the steps for roasting coffee at home, and sharing scenes from a wedding.
But it’s the potential for brands that has me wondering just how long it’ll take before a company gives this crowdsourcing-made-easy tool a try.
The idea of mixing up clips from short-form video services isn’t new. Taco Bell did it at last year’s South by Southwest, with a “rockumentary” of a concert featuring the bands Passion Pit and Wildcat! Wildcat! Using the hashtag #FeedTheBeat, anyone could share images or Vine videos from the concert, which documentary directory Sam Jones assembled into a finished film. (The film will be released to the Feed The Beat website later this month; the trailer is available now.)
With MixBit, however, a director of Jones’ caliber isn’t required. It would be easy to launch a hashtag campaign to get people to share clips featuring their products by including the tag, then edit them together into a cohesive video that could be added to other channels through the embed code available for every video. The cost to a brand would be close to zero, and the resulting videos could be embedded anywhere.
How hard is it to imagine creative videos of people wearing a fashion retailer’s clothes? Eating a take-out chain’s food? Enjoying a can of soda or vacationing somewhere they got to on a particular airline (or where they are staying at a particular hotel)?
I’ve scrolled through the MixBit videos and haven’t seen anything yet that looks like a brand, but I can’t imagine it’ll take long. If you spot one before I do, let me know.
MixBit is currently available on the Web and through an iPhone app; the Android app is due by the end of September, according to reports.