WHAT IS SHORTFORM? “Shortform is a web entertainment company that lets users run their own entertainment business by curating their favorite online videos into channels to share with the world. This social and interactive video channel let’s users build an audience and program video channels that match their audience’s taste. The users on this site are called “VJs” (Video Jockeys) and they mix, arrange, and share different videos from sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, Hulu, and College Humor.”
WHO USES SHORTFORM? Below you can find a chart of the audience demographics for Shortform.
With over one million visitors, Shortform is still a growing company since it’s creation in 2010. The graph above shows that this site’s audience is in the 18-24 age range who are women with some college education, no children, and browsers from home and school.
With most of it’s visitors coming from the United States, this site is found to be most popular from users in the city of Tampa. Even though the United States represents 57.1% of visitors for this site, Taiwan has a higher ranking for regional traffic in it’s country with only 1.8% of visitors.
The graph above shows that users on Shortform have a very high amount of active users who create profiles, visit the site and watch videos on it. Just under half of those users are creating actual video channels and posting comments on those channels. Under that are users who use RSS feeds and add tags to the site. The site has a low amount of inactive users. It is important for us to see this profile so that we can “understand how social technologies are being adopted by Shortform users.”
WHAT ARE USERS DOING ON SHORTFORM AND HOW ARE THEY DOING IT? Now that we know the what and who of Shortform, it’s now time to learn about Shortform’s online usage.
Where can Shortform be found? Since users create personalized video channels of Youtube, Vimeo, Hulu, and College Humor content, VJs can display these channels on their websites. Users can embed videos everywhere and anywhere with it’s “Share” video function on it’s page. Users have the choice of sharing videos on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg, by email, by URL, or by embedding. This site has API functions letting you sign up with Facebook and Twitter and sign in with those two plus Vimeo and YouTube. Shortform has integrated with many different social networks to create it’s own web entertainment company.
Where does Shortform fit? Shortform deals with a lot of cross promotions and integrated marketing campaigns since the site is ran off of videos originated from top video content sites such as Youtube and Vimeo. It is encouraged for users to share, watch, and create videos on the site to hype it’s consumer base and expand over top social networking sites. Facebook, being one of the top sites which users visit after Shortform, enables you to “like” posted Shortform content on it’s site. Shortform also has it’s own app on Facebook with 3000 users. Shortform has it’s own Facebook and Twitter account with it’s Facebook page having 2,362 likes and it’s Twitter account having 1,678 followers with 2,654 tweets.
Is there a way to make money on Shortform? YES! Shortform continues to strengthen it’s cross-platform structure in numerous ways. One approach Shortform uses is to “add interstitial ads between videos.” These ads are related to the video content and are placed in a manner so that they will be “fun to watch.” These ads are able to generate revenue for the company where in return they reward their VJs with. Shortform offers an internship program where users create and promote online videos and run an entertainment business online to get a certain amount of weekly views on their channel. Interns are paid based on how many visits they get on their channel and for how long each visit is. This program is a way to not only increase the visitors of Shortform but to also gain acceptance across many social media sites and bring about more awareness of the site.
Does Shortform have competitors? Like any other social media channel, Shortform does have competitors; VodPod and Magnify.net being among the top two. Like Shortform, both sites allows users to curate videos and publish them to sites and share between friends.
The above image is the daily page views per user for Shortform, Vodpod, and Magnify from the last six months. Shortform has some tough competition with Vodpod, ranking highest among the three in it’s global traffic ranking at 7,990. Magnify.net is next with a ranking of 22,144 and Shortform trailing behind the two with 52,443. Socialmention.com also shows that magnify.net has a 72% passion rate from it’s users; the highest passion percentage among the two. Even though Shortform falls short here, it differentiates itself by enabling “continuous streaming and by being consumer focused.” Shortform also grabs the highest reach and sentiment between the two. Twittersentiment.com also shows that Shortform has a high sentiment with a positive 92%. A graph from socialmenton.com and twittersentiment.com displays this below.
Hub and Spoke Model Shortform is a spoke on the hub and spoke model. Even though it’s a spoke It functions like the hub by having many outlets that user channels can be displayed and shared on, which refers them back to the site. Shortform is a spoke because VJs get their videos from sites such as Youtube and Vimeo, making Shortform not the original destination spot of the videos. Shortform would be a spoke for Youtube and Vimeo.
WHERE DOES SHORTFORM FALL ON GARTNER’S HYPE CYCLE? Shortform would fall in between the Trough of Disillusionment and Slope of Enlightenment where Consumer Generated Media is located on Gartner’s Hype Cycle as shown below. I would rank it more closely to the Trough of Disillusionment because of it’s competitiveness in the market. Compared to it’s competitor’s sites, this one is the least used and lowest ranked of the three. People are still going to the main sources (hubs) for videos such as Youtube and Vimeo. With Youtube having a global ranking of 3 and being the second largest search engine, Shortform is far from being the top place to watch series of different videos. With Shortform having over one million visitors, that’s not nearly as much as the billions of visitors, users, and subscribers it’s hub has.
ANYTHING ELSE? Since Shortform is a fairly new company it is still continuing to grow. The internship program it offers is a nice start to bring about more brand awareness for the company but I would try advertising more. People just don’t know about this site and there needs to be more word of mouth going around for this site to blossom.
It’s important for all starting companies to know that MARKETING IS KEY!!! There’s nothing more social than marketing so it takes a really good marketing strategy and plan for companies to see the growth they want. Shortform has good intentions with a good target focus and should continue to differentiate themselves in their market to be able to strive forward.
So now that you’ve learned about Shortform, Are you ready to be a VJ???
SOURCES http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/shortform.com http://www.crunchbase.com/company/shortform-tv http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/31/video-curation-is-growing-up-shortform-hits-one-million-visitors/ http://forrester.com/empowered/tool_consumer.html http://www.facebook.com/shortform.tv https://twitter.com/#!/shortform_tv http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/magnify.net http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/vodpod.com http://www.socialmention.com/search?t=all&q=magnify.net&btnG=Search http://www.socialmention.com/search?t=all&q=shortform.com&btnG=Search http://twittersentiment.appspot.com/search?query=shortform http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/gartner_hype_cycle_2010_cloud_computing_at_the_pea.php http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/youtube.com