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Can Cameo do for mobile video what Instagram did for photos?

Expe­ri­enced tech prod­uct man­agers prob­a­bly wouldn’t raise an eye­brow upon hear­ing that anoth­er video shar­ing app has arrived. But one look at New York-based Cameo’s offer­ing might just have both of those eye­brows lift­ing in surprise.

Video Edit­ing – the Full Monty

Unlike its rivals, which offer very basic edit­ing tools on mobile devices, the Cameo app pro­vides a com­plete video edit­ing suite and shar­ing ser­vice. And its loca­tion-based func­tion­al­i­ty lets sev­er­al users co-shoot a video at an event or place of their choos­ing at the same time. Sud­den­ly, those bored prod­uct man­agers are look­ing a lot more interested.

Cameo co-founder Matthew Rosen­berg wants to give total con­trol to mobile users who want to make cre­ative videos. Once the app is down­loaded, users get the option to shoot videos in six-sec­ond clips, and then the fun begins. Clips can be edit­ed and effects added from a superb library (the full equiv­a­lent, Rothen­berg says, of the desk­top edit­ing suite After Effect), fol­low­ing which they can be strung togeth­er in whichev­er order takes the user’s fan­cy. Not only that, but users can choose a theme, adding cred­its, text and much else besides.

Cameo then cre­ates the video in real-time on smart­phones in 720p mp4 for­mat. And it can be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo and Insta­gram as well as shared on social media sites.

Con­sumer to creator?

If our imag­i­nary prod­uct man­ag­er is no longer bored, he or she might now be get­ting a lit­tle skep­ti­cal. What does it take to coax social media con­sumers into becom­ing cre­ators as well, and does this clever lit­tle app have what it takes?

Social­Cam and Vid­dy made a brave fist of achiev­ing that goal, but nev­er real­ly sucked in a lot of main­stream traf­fic. Mobile video pro­duc­tion has proved a rock­i­er road than still pho­tog­ra­phy, even though Vine and Insta­gram Video are mak­ing some head­way. But both suf­fer the short­com­ing men­tioned ear­li­er: their edit­ing func­tions are frankly, prim­i­tive. That’s where Cameo real­ly beats them hands down, at least technically.

But shoot­ing a video takes more plan­ning, cre­ative flare and time than shoot­ing a sin­gle snap. Will users get addict­ed to the edit­ing, effects and shar­ing capa­bil­i­ties of Cameo? Time will tell (it only launched in Octo­ber). For now, it def­i­nite­ly has the feel of an addic­tive phenomenon.

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