July 18, 2012
Is Video Version Of Instagram Worth $60 Million?
John Neumann for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Following Facebook´s acquisition of pic-sharing Instagram, mobile video applications have been the subject of interest from social networks. The application getting the lion´s share of attention lately is Socialcam which was just acquired by Autodesk for a reported $60-million.Known for its pioneering, if somewhat stodgy, 3D CAD design software is more at home on the desks of engineers, writes Molly McHugh for Digital Trends. Autodesk says it will integrate Socialcam into its growing portfolio of social apps, services and design communities alongside its Pixlr, SketchBook and 123D tools.
It is hoped that Socialcam will become the go-to program for everyone that wants to record short video clips and share them across the web, reports Matt Brian for The Next Web.
Socialcam launched less than 2 years ago as part of live streaming startup Justin.tv Last August, it spun out from the larger organization, taking CEO Mike Seibel with it and operating as an independent startup with just a handful of employees. The app found 4 million new users in one recent weekend soon after becoming the top free app on the App Store via a FreeAppADay promotion.
Over the past year, the lean team has continued to iterate on the product, first adding Instagram-like filters, and later allowing themes and soundtracks to be added to videos.
As one of the leaders in the nascent mobile video sharing category, Socialcam is growing fast, and with just four employees, it was operating pretty efficiently. So why sell out now, with a huge market opportunity ahead?
According to CEO Mike Seibel, the acquisition will ultimately provide more freedom and flexibility to go after mobile video users, writes Ryan Lawler for TechCrunch. Socialcam plans to operate out of the consumer products group of Autodesk, with Seibel reporting to Consumer Group VP Samir Hanna.
There was a lot of noise from tech pundits when Instagram was bought for $1-billion dollars, but expectations for similar outcomes have cooled with subsequent and similar acquisitions. Video is not like photos, Seibel admits, there isn´t the same type of instant gratification when sharing.
Perhaps more importantly, people aren´t yet used to videography, and there´s a considerable learning curve to making video look good – you can´t just add a filter and call it a day. Even still, there are plenty more players who are willing to give it a go and chase that dream.