Action! Roll ‘em: Personal video poised to take off

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Current state of personal video
    1. So, is video the next big thing?
    2. Video capture trends
    3. Video enhancing trends
    4. Video sharing trends
  3. Outlook: What’s needed
  4. Key takeaways
  5. About Hans Hartman
  6. About Gigaom Research


To date, personal video hasn’t exploded the way photos have. But, like photos, personal video has the potential to break out from its role as a storehouse for memories of life’s key moments and become an integral part of consumers’ real-time social sharing habits.

With camcorders, creating a polished movie worth sharing took much more time, effort, and skill than enhancing and sharing photos — even with easy video editing programs like iMovie. Most consumers lack the artistry to marry shooting video with high production values, editing, music, and dialogue to create a compelling narrative. This imbalance restricted taking video to special occasions and to use by dedicated prosumer hobbyists.

Now, video cameras have become ubiquitous on mobile phones, and short-form video apps like Vine and Instagram are familiarizing consumers with the concept of taking video anytime, anywhere. With easy-to-use tools from the likes of Animoto and Magisto arriving in an evolving ecosystem, longer, story-driven personal video is poised to take off. If the following take hold, adoption of personal video will match that of photo sharing:

  • In terms of video capture, short-form video taken on smartphones is booming. The line between video and photos is blurring: Consumers can take photos and videos at the same time, and extract high-resolution photos from video footage post-recording. For actual usage to blur, the industry must educate customers that they can capture photos and video simultaneously, rather than having to choose between the two media types.
  • Video enhancement solutions have made huge strides recently. Video editing no longer requires a substantial learning curve. Some apps or websites let consumers create an edited and professional looking multimedia video literally within minutes. Going forward, these automatic video enhancement solutions must be better integrated with action cam footage and viral sharing — they’re starting to get good at photo and music integration already.
  • Video sharing on the smartphone is starting to trend toward “here-and-now sharing,” with the consumer recording and enhancing the video on the same device. That would accelerate if users get more selective sharing options — beyond mass-posting on YouTube and Facebook, they’ll want to post to specific groups of friends and family, and ad hoc contacts based on vicinity, address book, calendar, and social network data.

Thumbnail image courtesy of flickr user

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