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Instagram Adds Ability to Import Video But MixBit Steals the Digital Show

oscar short filmYouTube elevated the lowly home movie to a work of art. Vine taught as that amazing things can come in small packages. Now, two other companies are pushing the power of home-made video and they’re not stopping until someone wins an Oscar.

Don’t laugh. It could happen.

We begin with the latest upgrade from Instagram, dramatically titled 4.1.

Back in June, Instagram, everyone’s favorite photo filter app, added the ability to create tap and shoot videos. This put them in line with the current king of mini-movies, Vine.

But yesterday’s upgrade arrived with a game-changing feature — the ability to import and edit video from your mobile library.

That means you can take those two hour videos of your dog chasing seagulls on the beach and cut it down to only the very best, 15-second moment.

The app also has the ability to straighten off-kilter shots. If you’re a fan of those tilted villain moments from the classic Batman TV series, you can use the same tool to purposely skew your videos as much as you like.

Instagram 4.1 will let you capture and share the most exciting moments of your life in a truly new and different way. Just look at these sample screenshots:

instagram samples

Wow. Gets my vote for Best Picture Featuring an Empty Field. Incredible.

If you thought that was exciting, then you’re going to lose your mind over a new app called MixBit.

This one is brought to you by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. It relies on the same touch, hold and shoot action as Vine and Instagram video but there’s one very, very, big difference.

Videos are taken in multiple clips, or “bits,” as long as 16 seconds each. A video can include as many as 256 clips.  Clips are stored as independent elements but play as one seamless video. Drag and drop to rearrange, cut or delete clips, as well as save or publish, right from your phone.

No kidding, you could actually use this app to make an Oscar nominated short. Forget short. You could use it to create an hour-long movie. What a marketing coup that would be – the first award winning film shot entirely on a mobile phone. (Or has someone already claimed that title?)

Here’s where it could get dicey. MixBit’s creators say they want people to use the app to create works from “content within the system.” Look at this note from the MixBit intro page:

Other users can re-use your content in their projects. The Service is collaborative and re-using content shared by others is allowed and encouraged. Videos or other content you upload to the Service may be re-used by others in their own projects on the Service (but not on other sites or in other ways not related to using the Service). The only way to prevent this is not to upload a video in the first place or to remove it if you’ve changed your mind about having it be available.

It gets complicated from there. But MixBit has a real sense of humor about it so you should go read their FAQ even if you don’t use the app. It contains things like this:

We are not Big Brother.

AVOS has no obligation to monitor your access to or use of the Service or to review or edit any User Content you choose to add and we do not do so as part of our normal operations; however, AVOS has the right to do these things for the purpose of operating the Service and/or to ensure your compliance with these Terms, the MixBit Community Guidelines and applicable laws. AVOS reserves the right, at any time and without prior notice, to remove or disable access to any content on the Service that AVOS, it its sole discretion, considers to be objectionable for any reason, in violation of these Terms, or otherwise harmful to the Service.

We are also not your Mother, but we do want you to be careful when crossing the Internet.

The Service contains videos and other information that our users have shared which may include links to other sites. If you choose to view a video or click on a link you may be exposed to content that is offensive, harmful, inaccurate or otherwise inappropriate.  If you aren’t sure a video or link is safe and inoffensive to you, don’t watch it or click on it. If you watch a video or choose to click on a link to another site and something bad happens we are not responsible or liable in any way. We’re not responsible for the content of other sites and we’re not responsible for the videos or links users share on the Service. Just because a user has shared a link or video does not mean it’s safe or inoffensive and the fact that the link or video is on the Service does not mean we have checked it, endorsed it or otherwise determined its ok for you to visit, we have not. You assume all risk from visiting sites linked to or watching videos shared on the Service.

And the craziest part? That after saying you should freely use the ideas of others, it says don’t upload any music, TV or movie clips or any other copyright protected material. Good luck monitoring that!

I also hear that when you upload videos, it’s anonymous. Which is a little strange in this “hey, look at me” world.

If you’re looking for brand recognition, your name doesn’t matter. Just shoot a clever bit of footage that includes your branded product. Upload it to MixBit and hopefully someone will use your clip in their video. You could end up being a part of the most popular video on the service. It’s possible. Is it likely? Hard to say. Though MixBit sounds like Instagram on steroids, it has the potential to be a movement all its own.

Here’s a very nice example that shows the power of the people. (Sadly, the embed code doesn’t work)