It feels like an age since we had a new social platform to get excited about. When I say an age, I’m talking 6-7 months. I don’t think anything has really perked up my marketing ears since Pinterest. Now I’m looking at two new platforms, the first is Bubbly, and the second being Vine.
Bubbly is the sound network. Vine is the video sharing network with a twist… you’re only afforded 6 seconds to showcase your creative talent.
First, I’m going to take on Bubbly, the micro podcasting app. You record a message, bang it out into their stream and you’re away - sharing sounds. It has a user base of 20million and it's hit the UK with Rio Ferdinand acting as the UK ambassador. It connects with Facebook and Twitter, so it can sit as a standalone or act as a layer over your social accounts.
From a personal perspective, so far, I haven’t managed to work out where my voice fits. I’m not sure firstly, whether my voice is interesting enough to share with the masses and secondly, I’m not sure I like the idea of having to think of off the cuff things to say. Bless Rio Ferdinand; he is to voiceover what David Attenborough is to Premiership defence.
From a business perspective, it presents a new challenge. Who could be your brand’s voice? You can’t really create a tone of voice document for a voice over. In my head, I have an idea of how Nike sounds… it’s a different voice for different people. Brand guidelines for voice would be quite difficult to envision. So, ‘business as usual’ Bubbling would be a challenge. Maybe the voice of the brand could be the athletes… but finding something snappy and interesting to share presents a massive headache. If you’re struggling to work out how Nike fit into this, spare a thought for the less sexy brands. Who wants to hear what they have to say?
The sharing of micro podcasts might have legs, but I’m just not sure how it’ll look. From a user perspective, you need to be plugged in. You can’t Bubble on the sly, and listening requires concentration and it doesn’t really flow in the same way as checking your social timelines tends to. I’m not sure short bursts of sound have the mass consumption appeal other media types do.
Vine however, is totally different. What a platform. Genuinely, the first social network I’ve found myself getting excited about before I’d even tapped the app. The concept is simple; you get 6 seconds of video - do with it as you please. What a delightful challenge. It had me thinking all day around how it could work for me and how it could work for my clients.
Twitter and Vine have pulled off a masterstroke. The most creative brands will do astonishing things with their 6 seconds, with us mere mortals can creating amusing knocked up super GIFs that have plenty of character and charm. My concerns about chunky data uploads were laid to rest early on and the ease of use means there are no barriers to entry… bar your creativity.
I’m always cynical about new platforms, but not Vine. For me, this has social media hit written all over it. What I like about both platforms is this… I can’t predict how people will use it. Like the best social platforms, they’re tools that enable end user creativity. The journey both platforms will take is totally defined by the people… and it’s a journey I’ll be watching with great intrigue.
Pete Wood is the UK Social Media Director at 360i