SnappyTV is Joining Twitter

SnappyTV is joining Twitter! Together, we will create an even better platform for live, social content distribution.

When we created SnappyTV four years ago, we believed in the importance of mobile, as a way for people to share important moments, and in the value of social, so that people could experience those moments together. Over the years, we’ve developed a close partnership with Twitter –– we’ve worked together to make it easy for publishers to bring video clips to Twitter, both organically and with sponsors via Twitter Amplify, and we’ve also built Twitter data directly into our editing platform. Through this partnership, people have been able to turn to Twitter to view highlights from major events from world championships to TV and awards shows to Presidential elections, just to name a few.

With Twitter we will continue our commitment to maintaining an open platform for social broadcasting of live events, across a variety of digital platforms. Joining Twitter will allow us to provide an even better product and bring the platform to more content owners and event organizers throughout the world. We will be able to further our goal of empowering people to share the world’s best moments.

A huge thank you to our customers, investors, board members and advisors including Josh Felser, Chris Redlitz, Dan Halabe, Paul Bricault, Brian Woods, Russ Fradin, David Pidwell, Leslie Gittess, Andy Boszhardt, Ben Lin, Don Ryan, Don Folgner and Tricia Iboshi. We couldn’t be more proud of this team and what we’ve accomplished thus far. And, we’re thrilled to join a fantastic team at Twitter and have the opportunity to accomplish even more together.

Check out the Twitter blog if you’d like to read more about the acquisition.

- Mike, Ryan, Steve and the SnappyTV Team

Storytelling with GIFs

It’s no secret that here at SnappyTV we are fans of the animated GIF format – so much so that we’ve enhanced the format by adding interactivity through something we call a Snap Reel. We’ve seen the power of the format to engage audience and create conversations on social media. Beyond sharing individual animated GIFs to social, we love the idea of customers expanding their use of animated GIFs to tell a story with their content and integrate animated GIFs onto their sites to enhance their editorial coverage. As we’ve seen with the success of sites like BuzzFeed, this is a compelling format, albeit one that can be a bit overwhelming when you land on the story page.

With that in mind, we have made a few updates to the SnappyTV Snap Reel feature set to further empower our customers to animate away.

  • Embed code enhancements. With our update to allow for “no autoplay” in the Snap Reel embed code, customers can pick and choose what Snap Reels autoplay on the page and which ones wait for a user hover. Let your users be armchair analysts and interact with multiple Snap Reels without overwhelming the page with movement.
  • Animated GIF creation from VOD content. Have a great moment from a previously recorded event? Or want to engage your fans in a recap of a full season of great moments? You can now create animated GIFs from existing video content uploaded into the SnappyTV platform. This allows our customers to get the most out of their pre-recorded content and re-imagine their content in a new way.

Our friends over at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) are expert users of our SnappyTV Snap Reel tool and provide a showcase for using the tool to engage their fans. With our new features, they could take this a step further and bring the conversation to their site with a stacked display of all the best saves from the game, using autoplay to put emphasis on the first one, and let the fans weigh in on their favorites.

via Twitter
 

via Twitter
 

via Twitter
 

And of course, the SnappyTV Snap Reel editor has all the bells and whistles needed to make entertaining GIFs:

  • Frame adjustment – determine the in and out points down to the second or a particular frame. This is particularly useful when showing off a close call for our sports customers.
  • Playback controls – Slow the GIF down or speed it up, determine the direction of the action, and loop the playback to produce the desired effect.
  • Branding – Include sponsor banners or a call to action to further increase the impact of the GIF

Interested in learning more about creating animated GIFs with SnappyTV? Reach out to the account team today at customersuccess@snappytv.com

Time to Social

The launch of Twitter Amplify has redefined the way that both media creators and advertisers view the value of content. With Billions of TV ad dollars on the line, a unified objective has emerged: garnering views and engagement on any screen that a viewer owns – whether it’s the TV in their living room or their mobile phone.

In this new advertising frontier, one thing wins when it comes to posting and sharing TV content through social media: Speed.

Based on data collected from dozens of Twitter Amplify partners on Snappy TV’s platform including Turner Sports, the Pac-12 and the USTA, video clips posted to social media channels gain exponentially more views when highlights are posted in near real time versus after the event.

How real time are we talking? Highlights posted to social networks within 5 minutes of a moment happening in the physical or broadcast world had on average 300% higher engagement than clips posted even an hour later. What does this mean? Content creators can triple their social audience simply by publishing the same content faster.

More importantly, 88% of all videos that went “viral” [those that achieved at least 500% more engagement versus other videos], were shared in the first 10 minutes. We call this the Viral Window.

The emerging importance of real-time clip consumption reflects a larger trend in media where the lines are blurring between social and TV. The way consumers rapidly view and share content on social is affecting how they decide what to watch on TV. Essentially, the second screen is becoming a personalized TV Guide for the next generation, brought to you by friends and followers.

If this is the case, then media creators that figure out how to distribute their best content in real-time are well positioned to become must-see TV.

- Mike Folgner, CEO and Co-founder SnappyTV

The Power of the GIF


What is a GIF? Is it a moving photo? A short video with no sound? Actually, it’s a series of image files. But the real question is, why is it so compelling? In a digital era where online content is woven into our lives, GIFs have become a mesmerizing exclamation point for our most-powerful social media moments. A GIF is a moving picture that tells the story of the moment better than either a photo or a video ever could.

The power of a GIF lies in its ability to capture a moment or series of events. Often, things happen too quickly for people to properly digest the details with a video. The GIF can slow down a fantastic finish or a spectacular slam dunk and let you watch that moment repeatedly until it sets in.

The guts of the GIF

Sometimes events play out over a brief period of time. GIFs can compress a Jennifer Lawrence fall or a 109-yard touchdown into an easily-digestible snippet that can be watched again and again. Perhaps the most appealing part for social media audiences is that you never have to hit “play,” creating a mesmerizing experience that is engagement gold.

Compelling GIFs are easy to create if you have interesting moments to work from. Your chances of capturing the perfect sequence of events increases dramatically when you have a camera (or multiple cameras) rolling for an extended period of time. This is a significant reason why GIFs from TV and web streams have surged to the top of the social video food chain.

The GIF that keeps on giving

GIFs are shared across social media and spark conversations around the moment far more than any other type of media. Based on our data, GIFs typically generate seven times the views and engagement of a video from the same event.

Additional insights we’ve gained through experience have shown that publishing a GIF in the “viral window,” within 10 minutes of the moment happening, results in 800 percent more engagement than publishing outside the window. The faster content is shared, the more integral it becomes to the conversation. Providing GIFs of moments everyone is talking about as they’re happening will drive engagement around content both online and off.

What makes a GIF great

Everyone from celebrities to brands to media companies can learn something about social media from the mighty GIF. In order for these videos to go viral, a successful GIF should have three key elements when it comes to content: 1) A compelling subject, 2) high-quality video and 3) a real-time moment from a live event that resonates with viewers.

For example, the NBA utilized GIFs during its Slam Dunk competition earlier this year to break down dunks that happen in just a second into beautiful, looping replays of athleticism. The GIF featuring the winning slam dunk, made by Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, drove massive engagement on Twitter and was shared and mentioned for days.

As its core, the GIF is different than any type of digital content to date. While video highlights are great, the GIF creates a new type of engagement. Often times with live broadcasts, it’s the obscure moments that make the best GIFs: the fight in the penalty box and the photobomb at the awards show. It might not seem like too much goes into a GIF, but what you get out of it is an entirely new way to engage with audiences and create viral gold.

Barbara’s Last Week on The View

I had the pleasure of working with the ABC Daytime team for their content creation strategies around Barbara Walters’ last week on The View. After a long, history making run that put Women’s perspectives on social issues into the mainstream, ABC ran an amazing weeklong tribute to the one and only Barbara Walters.

Take a look at a few of our favorite moments from the week – you will be missed Barbara!

All 11 Co-Hosts Re-Join Barbara at the table to relive their favorite memories:

Barbara Interviews Barbara?

Oprah Surprises Barbara

Video is a Bear

My daughter Chloe will be closing in on her fourth birthday in a few months and she was born just around the time we started building SnappyTV. She was sitting on my lap this lazy Saturday Morning and she told me, “Daddy, I love you” which was just about the sweetest thing in the world, but then she asked, “What do you do all day?”

Now that is a good question. I glanced at the book shelf and saw a copy of Orange Pear Apple Bear then looked above at a row of teddy bears while I thought of my response. I said “Sweetheart, I work with video … and videos are like bears.”

They are some of the more beautiful, inspiring, hilarious and lovable things in the world. Everybody loves watching them. But they come in all shapes and sizes ( plus different qualities ) and sometimes they can be wild or slow or unpredictable especially when you are working with and caring for them.

This makes video hard. It takes a lot of time and effort. Now sweetheart, we’ve spent almost four years working on making video easy. We want someone who has never dreamt of editing video to be able to be publishing in minutes. We want to save editors hundreds of hours and let them go home and play with their kids. We are taking the pain and fear away and getting a lot more people involved in sharing. We want to make video more fun for everybody.
We want video to be like this bear. Like a bruin. Go UCLA. Chloe totally got it and I opened my laptop, fired up LiveCut and had her publish a clip with just a couple clicks. Do you know what she said … “Daddy can I watch egg surprise videos on your phone?” I can’t explain that but darling I love you.

Tumblr: The Social TV Powerhouse No One is Talking About

Jaws dropped around the media industry when U.K.-based social-data-intelligence company Pulsar released a study showing that Tumblr is driving more social TV engagement than Twitter.

More specifically, the study showed that when looking at social posts about specific shows through an 11-day window (that spanned the five days before until five days after an episode aired) Tumblr outperformed Twitter, and by a nearly 2:1 margin.

Source: Pulsar Study on Tumblr vs. Twitter Social TV Mentions

What’s more is that the study notes that while Twitter remains king while shows were airing on TV live, the Twitter effect quickly died after the show ended whereas the conversation on Tumblr had a much longer tail and in fact, social tv posts increased on Tumblr by a whopping 31% in the hour after the show had aired.

Tumblr's Social TV Activity actually increased after a show had aired.

One important note here is that the study focused on entertainment content and especially shows with cult followings which are known to be huge on Tumblr.  Specifically, the shows they studied were: ”Sherlock,” “Supernatural,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Sleepy Hollow.” Had the study looked at live sports events or breaking news, I think that the results would be drastically different.  That being said, the study does point out some things that make for some key takeaways:

  1. TV content already has a following on Tumblr – this is something that most media companies should embrace more than they are.
  2. Content owners and Twitter users alike only look at Twitter as the live platform. There are some missed opportunities here to use Twitter as a platform to “bridge the gap” between episodes and to create a longer tail for particularly buzzy content.  How often are you using the ICYMI call to action in your Tweets?  If the answer isn’t today, you are missing a major opportunity.
  3. Facebook is the elephant in the room – one wonders how they would have fared in the study (although I have my own opinions informed by data I have seen within our customer base).

So What Are YOU Doing on Tumblr?

At SnappyTV we talk to pretty much all of the leading media companies here in North America and many more around the world.  And what is most surprising to me is that very few of them are actually doing much on Tumblr. I think there are a few reasons for this, but most importantly, the most popular media type on Tumblr, by far, is the Animated GIF.  Most companies have not figured out a way to work creating Animated GIFs into their existing workflows so their Tumblr strategy remains dormant.

We’ve even worked on projects with hired gun professional GIF creators that get called on during big awards shows and events to create GIFs as fast as humanly possible (or was before us).  That being said, one of the industry’s best kept secrets (at least we like to think so) is that we have built out a robust set of tools to transform the Animated GIF authoring experience from something that a highly paid, highly specialized person had to do, to something that anyone can do.

American Idol uses SnappyTV to live blog gifs to their Tumblr blog. See it in action here: http://americanidol.tumblr.com/post/83769903129/look-whos-back

What’s more is that we have a deep integration with Tumblr and posting to your Tumblr blogs is as easy as posting to Twitter and Facebook.  So if you already creating and sharing videos, images or Animated GIFs created in SnappyTV on Twitter and Facebook, adding Tumblr as a destination is just one more click.

Sharing to Tumblr is fully integrated into SnappyTV products.

Of course just sharing content to Tumblr blindly with no strategy isn’t automatically going to work.  Just like Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr also has its own nuances and ways that users interact with the service.

One easy, but important thing to do before starting, is to search for your particular shows on Tumblr and see what your audience is already doing.  You may already have a built in audience ready and waiting for your to engage with them.  Figure out what hashtags they are using and who your key influencers are.

Once you are ready to take the plunge and get started with Tumblr, here are some good resources:

Stay tuned for more posts to come on my other key takeaways from the Pulsar study.  And as always, if you want to learn more about our Tumblr Integration, Animated GIF creator or anything else, do not hesitate to reach out at customersuccess@snappytv.com.

GMIC Conference: Summarizing Key Messages for Virtual Attendees

SnappyTV’s cloud-based, real-time video editing platform gives conferences the power to brand and share the best moments from the stage as they unfold. We’ve powered events like the NAB Show and TechCrunch Disrupt, and are now working with the GMIC to create and distribute content. Affiliates not in attendance can follow the conference on social for video recaps as the event is happening live. See Paul Salinger’s opening remarks from GMIC.

 

Videos shared within 5 minutes of the moment happening live average 300% more engagement than those shared even an hour later. SnappyTV’s real-time distribution features and clickable “tune-in” banners make it simple to promote the event and drive users back to a conference’s live stream.

The SnappyTV platform also opens a new revenue channel for conferences, creating sponsorship opportunities along side the content.

The interface’s intuitive design makes sharing to social speedy and simple.

Snap it, Share it, See it

To learn more about how SnappyTV can help your event, send us an email at sales@snappytv.com or head to www.snappytv.com

The Pac-12 & SnappyTV win ‘Best Use of Twitter’ at the 2014 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards

The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards honored outstanding work in the sports media industry over the past year and had categories that included television series, radio and live events as well as digital and marketing campaigns. We worked closely with the Pac-12 throughout the year powering instant highlights of almost all of their sporting events. This empowered them to tell a more compelling and engaging story for their fans and followers on Twitter, their own site and across the web. We are very excited to have won the ‘Best Use of Twitter Award’ with our close partner, the Pac-12, and we look forward to even more engaging storytelling in the coming year.

We would like to congratulate all of the nominees and ( not especially ) our other partners the NBA, NBC Sports, NFL and Turner Sports. We look forward to even more exciting highights this year.

NCAA March Madness Most Social Moments – Powered by SnappyTV Social Volume

This was one of the most unpredictable NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments ever with UConn and Kentucky piling up the upsets to reach last night’s championship game.  All of the unpredictability (and the big schools rising to the top) also contributed to make this the most social March Madness ever.

As we blogged about previously, the SnappyTV platform was tightly integrated into Turner Sports’ March Madness Live experience.  One of the key components they leveraged was our Social Volume product, which provides real-time data and visualizations that marry event video with social activity happening across the web and then lets you match up videos, GIFs and photos with those visualizations.

The SnappyTV Social Volume Product appeared beneath live video creating a live visualization of social activity about that game.

Using this data and clips shared in real-time on Facebook and Twitter via SnappyTV, here’s a look at the Top 5 Most Social Moments from this year’s March Madness tournament.

#5 Dayton upsets Syracuse in thrilling fashion! - 16,342 tweets/min

The University of Dayton Flyers reached the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1984 by defeating powerhouse Syracuse. The Flyers would win one more game before bowing out in the Elite Eight.

 

#4 Kentucky ends Wichita State’s perfect season in St. Louis! - 17,141 tweets/min

The Wichita St. Shockers were trying to become the first team to finish the season undefeated since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers but fell prey to the Kentucky Wildcats’ Freshman-dominated team.  The Shockers’ dreams of an undefeated season ended abruptly in the Third Round proving doubters, who cited their easy schedule, right.

 

#3 Kentucky punches its ticket to the Elite 8! – 17,528 tweets/min

One of the most anticipated games of the tournament pitted Kentucky against in-state rival, and defending champion, Louisville.  The Cardinals, who had been the darling pick in brackets across the country, ran up against the rapidly maturing Wildcats and ultimately came up short.

 

#2 Kentucky drills a 3-pointer to take the lead with 2.6 seconds to go! – 18,112 tweets/min

One of the stars of the tournament was Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison who hit three last minute three pointers in tight games that ultimately tipped the tide for the Wildcats against Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin.  This cold-blooded three against Michigan sent Kentucky to the Final Four and sent the Wolverines home.

 

#1 Mercer Dancing! – 56,887 tweets/min

The breakout star of the tournament was arguably a player who scored 0 points. How could that be you ask? Well Mercer’s Senior Guard, Kevin Canevari, created an internet sensation by performing the Nae Nae dance after the Bears’ stunning upset of Duke in the Second Round.  His moment illustrates just why March Madness is one of the most popular sporting events – because it creates human moments that resonate with sports fans and casual viewers alike.