April 12, 2011
Toy photo apps are certainly in vogue thanks to apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram. Now Viddy has arrived in the App Store. The free app lets you shoot a short video clip, or choose one from your library, then add effects to it. These videos can then be posted for others to see using different social networking sites. Sound familiar? It should since it looks very similar to Instagram, which might not be a good thing. According to its creators, Viddy is a “simple way for anyone to capture, produce, and share beautiful videos with the world.” On this, the app works as expected and does so brilliantly. After registering for the free Viddy service, users are asked to provide a profile photo. Next, you’re taken to the app's home page, which acts as its control center. On the top of this page are links to Viddy users you are following, plus popular and trending videos. On the bottom are links to your feed, favorites, recent activity, and your profile. The most important link, however, is the Share button, which allows you to choose a video source. Each video may be taken, or you can select one from your camera roll. Once a video is selected, the app’s biggest strength is introduced: adding effects. Current effects include: Black and White, Crystal, Hued, Junkd, Vintage, and 3D. Once an effect has been added, a title, location and tags may be added to your video. Next, the video is shared using Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Integration with Foursquare and Tumblr is promised soon. The Viddy app is great, even as a version 1.0 release. However, I couldn’t get past the fact it looked nearly identical to Instagram, only with videos. In fact, I was wondering if the folks behind Instagram, Burbn, Inc., had created Viddy, but they did not. This isn’t a bad thing. After all, as is said, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, I got the sense Viddy ripped off the popular photo-sharing app almost too much (and well) that it left a bad taste in my mouth. Nonetheless, it is a very good app and it will be interesting to see what future updates will bring. The free Viddy app is available today in the App Store for the iPhone.