There is a Twiterrification of everything going on for a while now – think Blip.fm for music, Blippy for credit cards, ShopSocially for shopping, Twitpic for pictures- and Tout is the latest addition to the trend.
Tout lets people to update their Facebook or Twitter feed with short videos (15 seconds max). The fact that Tout does not try to be a standalone application but rather a tool to be used in existing large social networks is smart. The 15 seconds limitation is also great, both for users – who wants to watch long videos instead of quickly reading 140 characters? – and for the company’s infrastructure cost. It is also a good thing to limit the uploading time.
We have seen companies launching a similar service in the past, such as Twiddeo (2007), but at that time, shooting video and uploading from mobile phones was not as easy as it is today, Twiddeo does not exist anymore.
Knowing that capturing images and videos from mobile phones is an exploding activity, we hope that Tout will not suffer the same fate as Twiddeo: phones are now the camera of choice for people, partly because, unlike cameras, they also offer sharing capabilities, a great indicator of this trend is the success of the mobile photo sharing and social network site Instagr.am. Check out the video demo to see how it works.
Tout is based in San Francisco, it is a technology spin-out of SRI (Stanford Research Institute). Tout’s investors include Horizons Ventures, the investment arm of Hong Kong-based billionaire Li Ka-Shing who invested $120MM in Facebook, New York-based Seavest Venture Capital, and Anduin Ventures.