As the ever-quickening onslaught of video editing apps floods the marketplace, some online giants have finally joined the race. Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, the guys who brought us a little-known site called YouTube, have released their vision for quick, easy, and portable video editing software for handheld devices. MixBit has been released today on iOS and is set to release an Android version in the coming weeks. It is competing for an overlapping consumer with Vine, Viddy, and some aspects of the ubiquitous Instagram. The emphasis of the app’s design is on the ability to ‘stitch’ together several (as many as 256) short video clips (as long as sixteen seconds each).
The YouTube and Avos Systems cofounders have emphasized “that creativity is a collaborative process,” and have appropriately enabled a social element within the MixBit community that enables the user to reuse others’ video clips in his own project. In theory, then, a user could create an entire video project over an hour long with nothing but material generated by other users. Being no strangers to the sticky situations of intellectual property law, the team at Avos Systems has sought to create a community of video sharing that is anonymous and content driven.
The communal drive is so strong with Avos, that they’ve launched the product with no monetization scheme. The app is available for free download with no advertisements. The website is similarly devoid of advertisement clutter. The business model of release-then-monetize that’s worked for YouTube, Google, and Facebook (among others) seems to be taking hold in the world of internet startups. It’s no surprise given the quick-paced nature of the industry that prohibits any sort of focus group research or beta testing.
This first generation of the app neglects an opportunity to link itself with facebook or twitter accounts from the beginning (which would indeed make for a robust public community right away) and has some tough workflow problems that fly in the face of intuition. Plus, while there are loads of elegant and intuitive ways to edit the timing and flow of video clips, there are no stock effects or sound editing abilities, making for some pretty jarring transitions.
All the cons aside, the app delivers on the promise of powerful video editing in the palm of your hand. And with all of the clips living in cloud space, as the website and app infrastructure develops, it’s conceivable that the editing and social media aspects can become seamless. It’s doubtful that MixBit will supplant Instagram as the de facto ruler of social clip-media sharing (is that really an industry?), but the burgeoning community of fan-video makers and music video re-imaginers of YouTube may just find a new and comfortable friend in the mobile sector.
Written By: Gabriel Rodenborn