More and more users are sharing video through Facebook, whether by dropping in links or uploading their own clips. Facebook is the fastest-growing referrer of video traffic, and users are beginning to upload videos to the site in higher numbers as well. And now a new iPhone and Facebook app aims to give you even more reasons to use Facebook as a video hosting destination.
The app, called BlipSnips, allows users to tag videos along the timeline. This is huge, because under the default Facebook uploader, users can only list friends who appear somewhere in the clip Now, with BlipSnips, you can tag the exact moment on the video timeline when they appear on camera. Sweet.
You can also just tag moments in a video--maybe marking a section where the action picks up, or where something surprising or hilarious happens. In addition to tagging the moment, users can also write commentary or explanations via captions that will appear on screen for the viewer to read.
Chris Kelly, a former Facebook officer now serving as investor and advisor to BlipSnips, says:
"The idea of social photography has existed for many years, but as video grows into such a dominant medium on the web, BlipSnips has brought much of that same social functionality to video for the first time. Now we can create, annotate and share video with many friends in just a few clicks and that represents a seismic shift in how video becomes social and how consumers can use video.”
The ability to tag friends by specific moments in the timeline and the ability to tag and caption individual video moments should help Facebook-hosted videos become more social and interactive--which should help them gain more views, comments, and attention.
BlipSnips is totally free, and is currently available in two forms: an iPhone app and a Facebook app.
Facebook certainly seems to be a fan, with director of media partnerships, Justin Osofsky, saying:
"People engage more with any type of content – including videos -- when it's surfaced through people they know and trust. We're just starting to witness what's capable when products are designed to be social from the ground up.”
Of course they're excited about BlipSnips--it gives their users more reason to engage with one another around video content. Heck, I wouldn't put it past Facebook to simply copy some of these features and roll them into their own default video uploading system.
I have long held that Facebook wasn't quite ready to be a video uploading destination for most creators, at least compared to places like YouTube, Vimeo, or even a solution like Brightcove. You can share video from those other platforms quite easily on Facebook--so for Facebook to cut into that market share and turn itself into a video hosting destination, they'll need to set themselves apart with special features and functions. Which is just what BlipSnips helps them do.