April 19, 2011

Kicklight Labs Debuts Tout: Life's Mini Video Moments

There's a new video platform in town, and for social media veterans who remember 12seconds.tv, it might make you think you're having flashbacks. But it's not 2008 all over again, and there's another service looking to capture life's moments with short video clips just over 10 seconds long. The new player is called Tout, looking to enable short conversations with video, with tight integration to social networks Twitter and Facebook and hashtags to help users find similar moments. Like all good social networks, you can follow your friends, but you can follow these tags as well. As more people discover and start recording their moments, you can track the world's updates, not in 140 characters of text, but with words, video and sound.

The service is the offspring of Kicktag, formerly known as Kicklight Labs, and the company's CEO, Michael Downing, was president at Kicktag, who raised $2 million at the end of 2010. Kicktag emerged from Bay Area think tank and research gold mine, SRI International. A few pivots later, we have Tout, and early users are tapping into the service to share brief moments from their life, be it reports from the Founders' Den in San Francisco, rocking out with friends, or casual home scenes involving pets.

Posting from Tout via iPhone With Hashtags

You can get video on Tout in two ways. The most direct way is to download the Tout app, available on iOS now, with Android promised very soon, and record a short video, then post it to your stream, with appropriate hashtags. A second way, also interesting, is to find a YouTube video and select an excerpt of up to 15 seconds long to post to the site. In the latter case, the video is not actually transferred to Tout's servers, but remains on YouTube, starting and ending where you had specified.

My Tout Channel, Featuring My Kids

The social Web is no doubt gun shy over short video services with the demise of 12seconds and Seesmic's forced move out of the world of video before they became a social media update client. But with iPhones, iPod Touches and Android phones all having fast access to video recording these days, and social networking being even more pervasive, it's possible that Tout has a good chance to meet the intersection of these trends. Tout of course also makes a big deal of the ease of updating your Facebook and Twitter accounts with new Tout moments, as noted in their first pieces of coverage on The Huffington Post and StreamingMedia.com.

Unsurprisingly, my first Tout moments feature my kids, who are much cuter than I am, even in short clips. (See: Braden laughs and thinks I am hilarious. for one example) You can get started on Tout to add your own moments at http://www.tout.com.