For social media power users like myself, you’ve probably heard about 12seconds. You might even have an account. For those who have not heard about it, 12seconds is a video messaging platform that lets users record and/or upload videos of no more than 12 seconds. These videos are posted to your channel, which can be viewed by and shared with your friends.
Why only 12 seconds?
This one comes straight from the 12seconds team: “Because anything longer is boring.”
And they’re right. We are a culture that craves brevity.
12seconds is to YouTube as Twitter is to blogging
The 12seconds service was born out of the same vein as Twitter, which lowers the risk of participating by limiting the character length of messages posted. People flock to Twitter over a once more common platform called a blog (do you remember those?) because it requires less time commitment. Tweets are shorter, take less time to read, literally anyone can post a 140 character message and getting started on the service takes less than a minute. When you compare getting started with a blog, you’ve got to think about what it will focus on, what the domain will be, where you will host it, what platform you will use, etc.
12seconds takes the same streamlined approach to online video that Twitter takes to sharing conversations. To sign up for the service you just need a username and a password, or you can create an account using Facebook Connect or your Twitter username.
You don’t even have to worry about what your videos will be about, because the 12seconds team does an awesome job of prompting users with idea. And, prompting 12seconds users means more than the proverbial “What are you doing?” opener as seen on Twitter. The site hosts a daily 12seconds challenge which generates user videos that participants rank, plus they employ the 12erator tool which generates random questions or thoughts to spur a video response.
12seconds has everything in place
For nearly any feature you can think of, 12seconds has done it. Want to import friends from other services? Want to upload a video from your computer? Want to distribute your videos effortlessly across other social networks? Want to know how many people are viewing your videos? Done, done, done and done.
From my perspective, 12seconds has it all. They’ve nailed the posting interface, have a robust API, distribute content across the social web, facilitate user interaction, have their own iPhone app and love their community.
If you are running a startup or are part of an existing business, take a look at how the 12seconds team has covered all the angles. What are you missing in your business?