Red Bull has launched a new social media tool that is aimed at helping music and sports fans "reclaim" their social media feeds by allowing them to communicate without being constricted by Twitter’s 140-character limit.
Dubbed Shout/out, the product harnesses speed-reading techniques in order to help users communicate at live events without the need for brevity, with the brand claiming it is the first time speed reading technology has been handed over to consumers.
The tool was created by London-based agency the Marketing Store and works by letting users share posts through Red Bull’s website. Their messages are then rendered into an animated speed reading gif where each word appears in rapid sequential order. Though fast, the messages can still be read by the human eye and Red Bull will give users options to customise the post with imagery before hitting send.
As well as being available to fans attending Red Bull events, the tool will also be used by the brand’s athletes and artists to broadcast their experiences in real-time. Shout/out provides each post with unique standout, which the company said has been designed to help users cut through the clutter of “boring, uninteresting or sponsored posts and get noticed by fans and peers alike.”
Speaking to The Drum, Chris Tyas, head of digital at The Marketing Store, said: “The need to express yourself and be heard is a key part of what makes us human. However, the full power and emotion of the written word is slowly being diluted as Facebook and Twitter specifically engineer their platforms to capitalise on promoted content, and in doing so reduce the impact of organic content.
“The Marketing Store and Red Bull decided to take a stand and reclaim social feeds for the consumers. We’re pleased to have worked with Red Bull to create this world first, to help people express themselves better, get noticed, and give their words wings.”
On the use of gifs, which have been integrated on platforms like Tinder and Twitter this year, Tyas said: “Gifs are simple and effective ways to share content in a universal format, and there’s definitely been an increase in their use by brands and consumers."
But for GIFs to really kick-on in popularity, he added, sites such as Twitter need to be "more progressive" with their formats.
"At the moment they haven’t found a display mechanic that matches the vast potential of fast mobile connection and hi resolution screens," he finished.
Earlier this week Red Bull inked a global deal with Tag Heuer, appointing the watchmaker as its official timekeeper.