YouTube founders challenge Instagram, Vine with MixBit video app
Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who co-founded video sharing site YouTube in 2005, unveiled their latest effort, video creation application MixBit.
Initially rolling out to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and the Web, with a version optimized for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android slated to launch within the next several weeks, MixBit most closely resembles Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)-owned Instagram and Twitter's Vine: Users press and hold their smartphone screen to record video clips up to 16 seconds in length, longer than either Instagram (15 seconds) or Vine (six seconds).
But MixBit also integrates video mixing and editing tools, enabling users to combine up to 256 clips to create a single, hour-long video that may be shared across social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Vine has no editing tools, and Instagram debuted rudimentary editing functionality on Wednesday. The MixBit site additionally enables all users to snip and repurpose content from any publicly shared video.
"The whole purpose of MixBit is to reuse the content within the system," Hurley told The New York Times. "I really want to focus on great stories that people can tell." The MixBit system is totally anonymous, however: Users cannot post their videos under a name, and cannot comment on others' contributions.
Twitter launched Vine in January, and Instagram added video sharing capabilities in June. Both apps have proven to be enormously popular with users, but Laura Krajecki, chief consumer officer of the advertising company Starcom MediaVest Group, told The New York Times that neither Twitter nor Vine is meeting consumer demand for more creative video tools. "Create an app that lets people edit it, and that's where people are going to go," Krajecki said, speaking generally of the market opportunity and not about MixBit in particular.
Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in late 2006. Roughly one quarter of YouTube's 1 billion worldwide users now access the service via mobile device: Nielsen reports that more than 70 million U.S. smartphone owners accessed YouTube in March 2013, up 42 percent year-over-year.
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