Cameo Shoots For The Sweet Spot In The Crowded Video App Space

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Today a new video sharing app launches out of beta!

This one’s called Cameo, and, unlike many video sharing services who pare down as many editing offerings as possible in the name of mobile simplicity, Cameo looks to simplify a fully functional editing suite on mobile. And if that weren’t enough, the app promises to let multiple users co-shoot a video based on location at a certain place or event.

The idea here, according to co-founder Matthew Rosenberg, is to give control back to the users who want to be creative with their mobile video.

So when you download the app, you have the option to shoot six-second clips of video. You can edit these clips down and add effects from the library (which Rosenberg describes as equal to that of desktop video editing software After Effect), and then string them together in whatever order you’d like. You can even choose an overarching theme, and add text and credits or whatever else you’d like.

From there, Cameo renders the video in real-time to your phone in 720p mp4 format, shareable across your favorite social media outlets, and available to upload for YouTube, Instagram and Vimeo fans.

The question here isn’t whether or not Cameo is a good mobile editing tool. It’s perhaps the best I’ve seen. Rather the question is what turns social media addicts from consumer to creator?

Where photography is concerned, it took a simple app like Instagram. With video, however, it’s been a rocky road from consumption to creation. Viddy and SocialCam paved the way without ever really picking up significant mainstream traffic. And then Twitter and Facebook duked it out, launching Vine and Instagram Video, respectively.

Both services, bigger than their video predecessors for a number of reasons beyond their actual quality as apps, stripped down the intricacies of video editing to snack-size format. Both have picked up steam, but neither are perfect.

And then there are the dozens of video apps that sprouted up in the past year that are also trying to perfect video creation and sharing across mobile in order to amplify the echo of photo sharing that spread across the world a thousand times over — but with living, moving media.

Some add music soundtracks. Some instantly delete the video. Some let us remix other people’s videos. There are hundreds of them. And the issue with most of these apps isn’t the apps themselves. It’s that video last more than a split second. A photo is a single instant that can be made up and painted over and (more importantly) skipped over without a second glance.

Video lasts. It needs an arc. It needs to move the viewer as it moves along on its own. And it needs to do so without making anyone sick. It requires talent.

So will Cameo find that sweet spot between simplicity and social and beauty? You tell me.