Friday, June 21, 2013

Blue Oceans in Video Micro-blogging ?

Blue Oceans Strategy discusses creating uncontested market places where you provide customers a huge value in terms of service/product and eliminate any competition there in. It also emphasized that it’s not only the new comers but also the incumbent in the industry who created a blue ocean strategy. “Types of Strategy : Which fits your business?” elaborates a combination of strategies such as low cost leadership, differentiating a product and the network effect and suggests that most of the companies use a combination of these.

The idea of video micro blogging having gone through various phases (from a blue to a red ocean industry) and being used as the sole product or a differentiating feature intrigues me.

Initially, video micro-blogging was provided as a ‘feature service’ by ‘hictu’, a closed, invite only social network in 2007, which was then a competitor of twitter. It wasn’t the core product then. They created a new feature which was never provided earlier. But due to the invite-only model they never became popular.

After that, ‘12seconds’ re-invented video micro-blogging as the sole product. It was famously launched as the twitter for videos. 12seconds offered users the ability to record 12 second video clips and share those clips via Twitter as well as within the 12seconds community. It was self-funded and by Oct. 2010 they shut down as they did not see much growth or get enough funding to continue operations.

Video micro-blogging after that was introduced with more features and through established social media like twitter to differentiate itself in the market.

Jan 2013, Twitter launched ‘VINE’, a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. They differentiated the product on the basis of duration, 6 sec clips and a looping feature, which makes video sharing interesting giving it a gif like feeling. They have a large user base, capitalizing on the network effects of twitter as the app enables people to share data between vine app and twitter. Users enjoy the brevity of video expression on the platform limited to 6 sec.

On Thursday, 6/21/13, while we were presenting during the Strategy development lecture, another video micro-blogging service was launched by Instagram which is essentially a photo sharing service which was bought by Facebook. This has been launched as a new feature with deep integration into the Instagram app and not as a separate product. They have differentiated the product further in terms of duration, editing, recording and sharing features.  In terms of editing, 13 new lenses have been added to give effects to shared video. Duration is the key here, it allows for the recording of videos 3 to 15 seconds long and for easy sharing on multiple blog platforms. It also provides video stabilization. Within 24 hours Instagram videos hit 5 million. Using video micro blogging as a feature of Instagram and not a separate product seems to have boosted its usage tremendously.

The image below,  compiled by tech crunch, compared the two products in terms of creation and consumption of content:

All of the above are only examples which state that services which were once Blue Ocean in nature eventually become Red. To achieve success, in the nascent stages of experimentation, they need to be reinvented with new features in order to differentiate themselves from other products in the market.


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