One of the things I love about my iPhone is the abil­ity to quickly take decent qual­ity video and share it.  The iPhone does a good job at this out of the box, but there are many video shar­ing apps out there that pro­vide more flex­i­bil­ity, ease of use, and lever­age social media sites to share your cre­ations.   To help you select the best one, I’ve cre­ated a seg­mented list of apps based upon how they can be best used.

As part of my research in writ­ing this arti­cle, I cre­ated a good one page table com­par­ing the apps and their key fea­tures.  If you’re inter­ested in down­load­ing this PDF, please CLICK HERE.

1. GOAL:  Pri­vately share with a sin­gle per­son or a few people.

If you take quick pri­vate videos that you want to share with only a few peo­ple (e.g. a video e-mail) or per­haps videos that haven’t been edited enough to share to a pub­lic crowd, the eas­i­est thing to do is to use the iPhone’s e-mail client (here’s a quick Life­hacker arti­cle on how to send video if you’re new to this).  You’re lim­ited to less than a minute, but it works across almost all clients and recipients.

Unstreamed Options

If you want to send the phys­i­cal video file to some­one (as opposed to the stream­ing options I’ll show below), I’ve found a few good notable apps to make things sim­pler and more powerful.

Video­Mail (RECOMMENDED) :   A great inex­pen­sive app to fire up, cre­ate an video (or an audio or pic­ture) mes­sage and eas­ily send to peo­ple.  It has qual­ity and length default set­tings and keeps track of the peo­ple you send mes­sages to.

Medi­aSend:  If you’ve got mul­ti­ple pic­tures or videos that you want to send to some­one in one e-mail, Medi­aSend is useful.

 

Stream­ing Options

When you send an e-mail with a phys­i­cal copy of the video attached, you’re always lim­ited to both your e-mail provider, spam fil­ters, and your recipient’s e-mail fil­ter.  That’s why using ser­vices that store your video file on-line and stream it to your recip­i­ents is so ben­e­fi­cial.   It’s also eas­ier to fur­ther share or post mes­sages if you want to at a later time.

KinKast (RECOMMENDED) :   One of the best free video shar­ing apps out there.   The UI is intu­itive  and very well thought out.  It’s one of the few that let’s you eas­ily record and share a video (with no file size or num­ber of mes­sage restric­tions) to an indi­vid­ual (as well as the social media sites).   The free ver­sion only stores mes­sages for 30 days and has ads, but it’s a must have.  For $5/month you can remove the 30 day restric­tion and the ads.

Qik:   I was one of the early users and lovers of Qik – had it run­ning on my Palm Treo years ago.  Qik has gone through many changes since then – most recently being acquired by Skype.  The unique thing about Qik is its abil­ity to share LIVE video as well as video chat (sim­i­lar to Face­time).  The video shar­ing is not as strong as Kincast’s offer­ing – either free or paid.  Qik’s free prod­uct is lim­ited in that you can only store 25 videos of unlim­ited length.  For $5/month, their pre­mium ser­vice allows you to store unlim­ited videos.  I believe that Kin­cast wins this bat­tle unless you like live streaming.

 

Thwapr:  Thwapr is another option for pri­vately shar­ing hosted videos.   The videos are lim­ited to 5 min­utes long, but the ser­vice is free and you can store unlim­ited videos.  While it can share via Twit­ter and Face­book, it’s unique capa­bil­ity is that it can share via SMS (text mes­sages) – with­out using your per­sonal SMS mes­sages.  It doesn’t have an easy way to share via e-mail – one of the product’s big short­com­ings.  I had spo­ken and pro­vided feed­back on the app ear­lier this year to the senior man­age­ment at Thwapr – great group of guys -  but they seem to be cur­rently more focused on their busi­ness offering.

 

2. GOAL:  Share videos directly to Face­book, Twit­ter, & YouTube

One of the eas­i­est ways and most com­mon ways that peo­ple share video is to post them to Face­book or YouTube.   The nice thing about both of these is that you can use pri­vacy set­tings at either these sites to define who can actu­ally view your mes­sage.   For exam­ple, see this arti­cle on how to do this with YouTube.  I’ll also group Twit­ter shar­ing into this sec­tion since it’s the next most estab­lished social media site and peo­ple often use it for video sharing.

To be clear, our objec­tive is to quickly take a video and post it to one or more of these key social media sites.

Shozu (RECOMMENDED):   This inex­pen­sive app ($.99) and web based ser­vice allows you to very eas­ily post pho­tos, videos, and text to all your favorite sites with one click.    Han­dles Face­book, YouTube, Twit­ter, and MANY more.    A very easy to use and flex­i­ble app.

Pix­elPipe:  Very sim­i­lar to Shozu, but their iPhone app that I have been using for a long time has mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­peared from the App­Store as of 8/2011.  Sup­pos­edly, they’re com­ing out with some­thing new, but there isn’t any detailed infor­ma­tion on what they’re doing.

TwitVid: (RECOMMENDED):   An excel­lent free app to eas­ily post videos to both Twit­ter and Face­book.   I wish this app would give you the link to the video it cre­ated so you could send the video via e-mail or text – but you have to go to the web site to find that iink.

qTweeter (RECOMMENDED):  For those with Jail­bro­ken iPhones, I’d rec­om­mended tak­ing a look at qTweeter.  It’s a great appli­ca­tion that you can quickly open, write an update/tweet or record and send a video to Face­book or Twitter.

 

3. GOAL:  Share videos to A Spe­cific Group Of Peo­ple (pri­vate or public)

Beyond Face­book, there are many appli­ca­tions and net­works that have been specif­i­cally designed to allow you to host and share video with a group of peo­ple — often with bet­ter track­ing, qual­ity, and a video blog look and feel.

Pos­ter­ous (RECOMMENDED):   Pos­ter­ous and Tum­blr (see next) are very sim­i­lar.  Both allow you to cre­ate a pub­lic or a pri­vate stream/blog that includes video (as well as audio, pics, text, etc.).  Between the two, I like Pos­ter­ous’ UI more and the fact that you’re not lim­ited to video length.  In addi­tion, Pos­ter­ous seems to inte­grate bet­ter with Twit­ter and Facebook.

Tum­blr:  Very pop­u­lar self-blogging site with strong video shar­ing capa­bil­i­ties.   I do like that it allows a sin­gle pass­word pro­tected blog (instead of forc­ing peo­ple to sign-up to view a pri­vate stream).

Social­Cam (RECOMMENDED):  Next to Kin­cast, I think Social­Cam has one of the best user inter­faces for video record­ing and shar­ing.  In addi­tion to being able to host and share videos via the Social­Cam site, it eas­ily allows you to share the videos to Face­book, Twit­ter, Pos­ter­ous, Tum­blr, Drop­Box, e-mail, and SMS.  My only com­plaint is that it doesn’t address the need for pri­vate shar­ing very well – if some­one is fol­low­ing you, they can see all your videos.  With a minor change to sim­ply allow for videos not to auto­mat­i­cally show up in your ‘stream’ this would be great.

Vlix:  A decent alter­na­tive appli­ca­tion.    While it lim­its you to only 60 sec­onds per video, the shar­ing options are pow­er­ful (Face­book, Twit­ter, YouTube) and it also includes some cool video edit­ing and basic open­ing / clos­ing titles for per­son­al­iza­tion.   Allows for pub­lic and pri­vate video feeds as well.

Tout:  Think of Tout as Twit­ter for video.   It’s sim­i­lar to Vlix, except now the videos are lim­ited to only 15 sec­onds.   What makes Tout inter­est­ing is that they have some celebri­ties using it includ­ing Jeff Probst, Mitt Rom­ney, Dana White, and oth­ers.  The 15 sec­ond lim­i­ta­tion is inter­est­ing, but even lis­ten­ing to Probst’s Tout’s, he was often get­ting cut off mid sentence.

 

Sum­mary

While I’d love to have a sin­gle app to use for all things, it really does vary.  My top favorites from the list are Video­Mail, Kin­cast, qTweeter, Pos­ter­ous, and Social­Cam.  If I had to pick one, I’d go with Kin­cast.   A dis­cus­sion on video edit­ing on the iPhone will have to be addressed another day!

Please down­load and play with them and tell me which ones are your favorites (or why you hate mine).  Please also let me know if I’ve missed great ones that you use.  Happy sharing!