Introducing Vinstant

Vinstant is an app for iOS I made during the Summer 2015 to make it easier for anyone to make better videos. I’ve always wondered why the native video recorder couldn’t capture multiple clips in one video, so I made an app for that.

Link to the App Store: Vinstant — Make better videos

It launches ready to record and allows you to record up to 30 seconds per video. I set a limit to keep your own videos lightweight for you and your friends. It’s a very simple app, but there’s surprisingly many thoughts and benefits behind the 900 kilobyte app. Yes, less than 1 megabyte.

I have a theory that too many videos being captured and shared have too many seconds in them that aren’t really exciting. Videos are becoming more and more popular and you are seeing more and more videos on feeds like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Each video that is longer than 6 seconds have an exit point from viewers, so it is important to keep your video interesting for longer than 6 seconds to keep those exit points as few as possible or as far in as possible.

Pushing the exit points

I personally like to say that you are willing to see the first 6 seconds of a video and the 7th second is the first possible exit point. If the first 6 seconds has more than one clip in it, then there’s more action-feeling of the video and suddenly you feel that the first 6 seconds you have invested are paying off and then you are set to see up to 10 more seconds before the next exit point. If the following 10 seconds also has more than one clip in it, then you have reached the 50% progress point and might as well as finish watching the up to 30 seconds video made with Vinstant.

Why does Vinstant matter?

Long story short: The content of the world wide web started out being consumed around text. Then products like Flickr pushed photos forward and Instagram among apps. Videos are now set to be crowned for the next 5–10 years as content magnets.

YouTube and Vimeo for landscape formats, Snapchat and Periscope for portrait format and Facebook for both. Oh, and Vine and Instagram for square formats, but personally I think it’s a shame to cut off 50% of content, just because landscape + portrait clips in the same video conflicts the final result. Vinstant proudly solved that problem. I think square formats for videos wouldn’t be among us for much longer, just like Polaroid’s OneStep cameras, so for me it was important to make something simple that just works and yet endlessly useful for creative use. Vinstant is a clean and an highly useful tool - just like chopsticks.

Update [link]: “Instagram says goodbye to the square” :)

Vinstant is a clean and an highly useful tool - just like chopsticks.

Unlocking video production to everyone

Up until this day good videos has been reserved to the experienced makers. Your YouTube channel is invisible unless you’re great and creative with editing. Your Vimeo video isn’t good enough unless you have expensive Canon gear. Your Vine video isn’t entertaining enough so you just consume from the highly entertaining makers instead of making videos yourself. Your Facebook video is maybe boring, because it takes too long to reach climax and I bet Facebook’s data shows that the video had many exit points without watching the full video, so you rather just consume videos shared by Pages or public figures as Steve-O’s recent anti-SeaWorld stunt.

Vinstant makes is possible to anyone to create better videos without requiring the people to use heavy editing apps like iMovie (that duplicates your videos inside your phone and takes even more space) to make their videos better or insisting on uploading. The simplicity of recording multiple clips in one video results in that each new video you make is unique. As soon as you hit the “Save” button, Vinstant will instantly be ready to already record a new video. The power of an offline app.

Understanding the new

Vinstant is not a social media. It operates in a layer below that and focuses on being an extensive tool to social apps. Vinstant’s mission is to make you feel safe in producing a series of videos without having you worried about needing to share it to the world. Yes - Snapchat, Vine and Instagram can save your recording to your phone, but is it really the reason why you open those apps in first place? No. The reason why you open the app and how you use the app can make the whole difference. That’s how Vinstant differentiates. I think it is natural to compare the new with existing ones to get a better understanding of the new.

Photo: GoPro Inc.

Where is Vinstant going?

Honestly? I‘m not sure, but it’s inspiring to see how people are already using it and to hear how it helps them having fun in making a series of private videos. In its early stage I would love to hear feedback and advice to make this concept stronger and to expand my views. I have thoughts about making us (the users) pay to get an unlimited length for recording, if I can breach the challenge of saving the video in background in offline mode. I also think simple options like the ability to delete a selected clip before saving, record in slo-mo and adding floating text overlays could help us (the users) make more personal as well as newsfeed friendly videos.

The craziest idea I have which I one day want to achieve with the Vinstant app is to sync with external devices like a GoPro camera so you can use the Vinstant app (maybe an Apple Watch version) to record the most exciting moments and save it to your phone. I know external devices swallows a lot of storage space and often has too many unnecessary seconds in them.

In order to do that I will definitely need help. I really believe in making video production universal by removing the anxiety of making and create a foundation for the next 10+ years designed for the mass.

Want to help out or just curious? I’m only a few tabs away!
Twitter: @jjsandgreen


My personal videos made using the Vinstant app:

Christopher White’s (Sneakers Agency) video made using Vinstant.