August 8, 2013
MixBit: YouTube Founders Just Made Video-Sharing Cooler
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Mobile technology operates in trends and waves. Last year companies were intently focused on maps. This year, the hottest apps have been photo apps with filters or a cross-platform messaging apps. Video capturing and sharing apps have also been big, with Twitter-owned Vine and Instagram both bringing such apps into the digital world.Today, two of the guys who brought us PayPal and YouTube have finally launched their own video sharing app called MixBit. Like Vine and Instagram before it, MixBit is iOS only though an Android version is slated for release in "several weeks."
MixBit can record and share video like other familiar apps, but it differentiates itself by allowing users to get more in depth with how they edit their videos. Whereas Vine and Instagram only allow you to shoot straight sequences of video, MixBit lets users rearrange the placement of the clips that make up the longer video. Users can also import their own video taken outside of the app, allowing for greater control of how and, perhaps most importantly, when the video is shot.
MixBit videos can also be viewed and edited online. Going even one step further, MixBit clips can be pulled from other users' videos and mixed into another video, turning sharing videos into a collaborative affair.
In a June interview with the New York Times, MixBit creators Steve Chen and Chard Hurley discussed their experience with YouTube and the new challenge of placing the power of creation back into the hands of users.
"What we ended up creating at YouTube is a solution for distribution," said Hurley. "What hasn't been solved yet is the act of creation."
MixBit users can record clips up to 16 seconds long. They can then use as many as 256 of these clips in a single video, meaning some finished products could last up to an hour. This kind of freedom could very well lead budding short film directors to use MixBit as a platform to release their latest work. Though filters aren't in the app as they are in Instagram, users can add these and other effects in other apps and import the video later.
Though part of what has driven people to Vine is its simplicity (point, shoot, share), it doesn't take long before more sophisticated users want to do more with the app. For instance, neither Instagram or Vine allow users to save their videos and come back to them later. Users must shoot and share a video in the moment. This could be particularly frustrating for the user who takes elaborately thought-out videos that might take many hours to carefully stitch together. Until recently, Instagram and Vine only allowed clips shot within the app to be used in videos. Instagram only recently began allowing users to import their videos into the app for sharing.
MixBit is app agnostic, meaning it will take video from any source, be it the built in camera app or even Instagram and Vine. Users who prefer other video apps or want to add effects or filters outside of MixBit are more than welcome to do so and stitch it together in the app later on. Once these clips are assembled and shared in MixBit, other users can take these clips and put them in another video, ultimately allowing for app-wide collaboration.
"The whole purpose of MixBit is to reuse the content within the system," said Hurley in another interview with the New York Times this week.
"I really want to focus on great stories that people can tell."