Written by Paul Ellett on 10 August 2012
Tout has been around since 2010 but first hit the headlines last year when basketball star Shaquille O’Neal announced that he was retiring from competition via the service. Now, following a $5m investment from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Tout hopes to grow beyond America where it remains a known-commodity.
What is Tout?
Put simply, it’s a cross between YouTube and Twitter. Users can film their own video or “tout” via the app on their phone, which is limited to 15 seconds, and then share it directly via Tout and other social networks. It’s a great idea for those of us who hate those 7 minute long YouTube videos where nothing happens – the 15 second time limit means you have to be short, snappy and creative just like Twitter with its 140 character limit.
Who is using it?
In its early days, Twitter benefitted from celebrity users like Stephen Fry. Tout is now also attracting a few big names including Whoopi Goldberg and Kristin Chewoetuh. Following its $5m investment, World Wrestling Entertainment has also integrated the network into its weekly show with many WWE stars now using it to promote their weekly battles.
Will it catch on and who with?
Because it’s a video-format it puts the focus on the user to generate content beyond simple text so some people may be reluctant to “perform” in front of the camera. This will likely make Tout more popular to browse on and consume rather than produce, which means it may need to rely more on high profile figures to produce daily content. It is certainly a more creative way to make short announcements but it may not encourage the kind of frequency that Twitter does.
For businesses that utilise social media, Facebook and Twitter may continue to be the preferred platforms. Many CEOs or MDs will not want to put themselves on camera so regularly, especially when the videos may not be well-produced and may not show them in their best light.
In any case, Tout boasts that it’s all about ‘Life’s Moments’, which suggests they wish to focus on the individual and their capacity to share home videos quickly with family and friends.
Association with WWE
The relationship between the Tout and its major investor, WWE, may actually harm it. Many people view wrestling as a hillbilly sport rather than a professional form of entertainment so if Tout’s association with the wrestling giant continues to be at the forefront, it may just become known as WWE’s social media tool.
Written by Paul Ellett from isaydigital.com
Paul, whose personal interest in social media goes back to his time as a society administrator at university, now works at a fledgling agency offering digital marketing services in Sussex, such as SEO, PPC, content-creation and social media management for many businesses of varying sizes; specifically those trying to establish an online presence for the first time.