Futures Lab Update #105: Apps For Collaborative Mobile Video; A Follow-up Button for Stories

    by Reuben Stern
    May 7, 2015
    Contextly offers publishers a way to notify users when follow-up stories of interest are posted to their websites. Users can click a "Follow this story" button at the end of a particular story.

    This week we see how several mobile apps are making it easier to piece together video footage from multiple contributors, and we learn about a tool for publishers that helps website readers follow ongoing stories.

    "Using the camera on your phone, you basically record a message in under 20 seconds, and you invite your friends to add to it, and then you're done. Peepsqueeze automatically connects the videos together to create one video." -- Dax Martinez-Vargas, CEO, Peepsqueeze

    PART 1: Collaborative video

    Several apps have emerged recently that enable groups of smartphone users to pile footage together into a stream that becomes a single collaborative video. We explore some of the options and possibilities.


    Reporting by Gabriel Jefferson, Reuben Stern and Rachel Wise.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    A few of the options:

    • JumpCam is an app that lets users shoot a video, and then invite friends to add to it. It is automatically compiled by Jumpcam, but the creator can add effects and music to it after. The app is available for iOS and Android.
    • Mixbit is both an app and a website where a user can create a video by creating a private or open collaboration. Others users can then submit photos or videos to the project and then Mixbit handles the editing, effects and graphics. After it is complete the creator can still make changes to the video manually. The app is available for iOS, with an Android version in the works.
    • Peepsqueeze is targeted toward use by groups of friends. Contributors are invited into the process by a video’s initiator to create a “seamless, downloadable video keepsake.” The app is available for iOS and Android.
    • Riff is an Android and iOS app released by Facebook Creative Labs that lets users start and add to video threads using a hashtag-like topic label. The finished videos can be shared in Facebook and elsewhere on the Web.
    • Videoo is a website and app that allows the public to upload videos up to 33 seconds long to a hashtag playlist. People can then vote on videos within the playlist. Videos with the most votes move to the beginning of the playlist. Users can also remix the playlist to create their favorite version. The app is available for iOS and Android.

    PART 2: Contextly’s FollowUp button

    Several mobile apps are using alerts or other strategies to help users stay abreast of ongoing developments in a specific news story or topic. But what about website visitors? We learn how a new tool from Contextly offers publishers a way to notify users when follow-up stories of interest are posted to their websites.


    Reporting by Rachel Wise, Reuben Stern and Raven Brown.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information:

    As Contextly founder Ryan Singel mentions in this blog post, knowing which stories readers choose to follow could “help publishers know what stories people want more of, not just which got the most clicks.”

    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

    FuturesLabWebBanner-mediashiftThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

    Tagged: apps collaborative video contextly jumpcam mixbit mobile video peepsqueeze snapchat

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