Are you ready for video messaging?

Are you ready for video messaging?

In the coming months, you may hear smatterings of hype about mobile apps that allow video messaging, or even get a video message yourself. This doesn’t mean face-to-face discussions in real time a la Skype, or the looping videos you see on social networks like Vine and Instagram. It’s short videos you record and send to a single person or a small group of contacts, quickly and seamlessly, instead of a text.

The current hot name in video messaging is Glide, which simultaneously records a selfie-video and broadcasts it to your friends by pinging them with a notification. Glide has 2 million active users and claims that 70% of all its video messages get picked up while being broadcast, before being answered back walkie-talkie style.

Many see this as just another evolutionary step for mobile communication and so-called over-the-top messaging apps that initially took sms revenues away from carriers. Having deconstructed the way we communicate by getting us hunched over and texting more, these free services may now be bringing us back to the traditional act of using our voices and even showing our faces when we reach out to someone over a carrier network.

“Video is something that’s just being cracked in mobile,” says Rajeev Chand, managing director of Rutberg & Co, a boutique investment bank. “It’s super intuitive. Who wouldn’t want to send a video message or have a video conversation with a family member or spouse or child?”

The primary constraint of course is cost, and whether carriers can handle the bandwidth required for sending video files.
Video messaging is aiming to take off where multimedia messaging services – MMS – didn’t. MMS was built as a standard way to send photos and videos over traditional carrier networks. One reason it failed: MMS was a pain to use.
“A second reason it failed, was interoperability,” says Chand. “In the early days each operator wanted to do his or own service for their own customers. As a result, who’s going to go onto a messaging service their friends aren’t on?”
This sort of approach illustrates how publicly-traded carriers like AT&T and Verizon struggled to provide useful, innovative services to their customers.

“It’s very popular among teens,” said Roisman of Glide during a demonstration of the app. “Early acceptance of an app by teens and students is usually a strong indication of its future popularity — such was the case with Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook way back.”

Carriers may have blown it with MMS, but the young and still-growing messaging giants may do a better job of integrating the video features we all end up using over the coming years.

extract taken from Forbes, author Parmy Olson

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