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8/8/2013
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MixBit, GIF Chat Join Video-Sharing Craze

MixBit, GIF Chat offer new approach to sharing short video clips on the Web.

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The proliferation of video recording and sharing applications, services, and social networks spread further today with the launch of two new applications. Both MixBit and GIF Chat aim to help users explore their creative side and share the results across the Web.

MixBit is the brainchild of YouTube founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley. It takes an interesting approach to video recording and sharing in that it allows users to grab clips recorded by others and add them to their own videos. The idea behind MixBit isn't so much about sharing individual clips as it is about crowd-sourcing creativity to see what can result.

The app itself allows users to record videos, which MixBit calls "bits," between 1 and 16 seconds long. The bits can then be published on the MixBit website, where they are stored individually but can be combined with other bits. Each video can include as many as 256 bits, which would make the result about an hour long if each bit is 16 seconds. The service lets users drag, drop, and rearrange the clips in any order they like, trim the clips, and even delete them all from the phone-based app.

[ Is it time for mobile developers to sharpen their focus? Read Mobile Developers Must Focus On Tasks, Not Apps. ]

The MixBit website is already up and running and features a handful of videos that have been mixed by the community. The app is available for the iPhone for now, and will eventually be made available to Android devices. It is free to download and use.

The second video-sharing app, GIF Chat, comes from Pinger. The developer is no stranger to mobile messaging services, having provided them to smartphones and tablets for years. GIF Chat is a video-messaging app that combines animated GIFs -- short videos that loop repeatedly -- with text messaging. The app can record up to 6 seconds, and users can set the playback speed for added effect. GIFs can be sent over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi networks and can be received and viewed on any device on the Pinger network.

According to Pinger, the GIFs can be set to self-destruct after being viewed so they can't be shared. Pinger explains that its customers have total control over the videos, including who sees them and how many times they will loop before they are destroyed.

GIF Chat is also exclusive to the iPhone currently. An Android version of GIF Chat will be available later this month.

MixBit and GIF Chat join existing apps Vine and Instagram. Vine, which is run by Twitter, lets Android and iPhone owners record 6-second videos that loop repeatedly, just like a GIF. Instagram, which is run by Facebook, lets users record up to 15 seconds of video and apply filters for added effect. Vine first launched in December 2012 and Instagram's video feature launched last month.

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