Remember Socialcam and Viddy?
The two stars of social video sharing once had more than a 100 million users combined. Everyone—including Business Insider—was saying that one or the other would be the “Instagram of video.”
Perhaps we should rephrase that.
Stripe business-development executive Cristina Cordova points out, they have less than 5 million monthly users.
That’s a drop of more than 95 per cent in six months.
The plummet comes because both services depended on Facebook for viral growth, and Facebook changed both the rules and its counting methods.
AppData, a service which gathers Facebook usage figures, says that video players in particular have seen “fluctuations” because of changes in what Facebook considers a “user.” But far more importantly, Facebook cracked down on spammy apps like Viddy and Socialcam which essentially tricked users into installing the app in order to watch a video.
Regardless, it’s clear that whatever generated those eye-popping numbers, which persuaded reporters and investors alike that something amazing was happening in video sharing, is gone.
Socialcam is fine. It sold to Autodesk for $60 million this summer, and Autodesk seemed less interested in the service’s user base than in the idea that it had figured out a good way to let content creators—Autodesk’s target market—easily share their videos online.
Viddy, on the other hand, has a problem. Instead of selling, it raised $30 million at a $370 million valuation. That sounds great, right? Except that Viddy’s investors extracted exceptionally tough terms, allowing them to double their money if Viddy does well, and wipe out founders and employees if it does poorly.
After Facebook announced it would buy Instagram, the photo-sharing site, in a deal valued at $1 billion at the time, Instagram’s user base continued to explode, from 30 million users to 80 million users in August and 100 million users by September.
Viddy now has 660,000 monthly users.
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