Battle of the Apps: Socialcam vs. Viddy

Battle of the Apps: Socialcam vs. Viddy

Julienne Lin
Jul 31, 2012

For the past couple of months I've been using Viddy to record videos of some of my summer activities. Then I discovered that there were just as many people (or maybe more) using Socialcam as Viddy, and decided to use the two for a day or so to figure out which I preferred. It looks like the two apps are neck and neck in the market right now. Here's my experience with both.

Shot with Viddy

Shot with Socialcam

I was drawn to Viddy in the beginning because it was described as "Instagram for video." I liked its sleek interface design, especially compared to Socialcam's, which reminds me a little of the casual style of Groupon.

The bottom menu items for both apps are essentially the same: video feed, what's popular, a middle button to shoot your own video, buttons for finding friends to follow and your profile. However, Viddy's design is in a nice black that's a bit sexier and easier on the eyes at the same time. The menu icons are blue to indicate which page you're accessing, and I've always admired the Viddy video recording icon.

Socialcam's design is a bit more playful, with Facebook and Twitter share buttons incorporated right into your video feed so you can post or tweet any videos that you've watched and felt compelled to share. That has been one of the criticisms of Socialcam — that it's been aggressively design to be shared on social media. However, the app is called Socialcam; videos are meant and encouraged to be widely shared with each person's social community. The menu items are also blue to indicate the page you're on, but the record button looks similar to the iPhone's built-in recording button, gray with a red dot in the middle. The design is not as elegant as Viddy's.

Ease of Use
Viddy has a 15-second recording cap, which forces you to be creative when choosing to shoot footage. I view it almost like Twitter's 140-character limit. You shoot video first, then you're allowed to pick the thumbnail view for your video, much like YouTube. Next you can apply a filter. Each time you want to preview what a filter would look like on your video, the app takes time to render that before you can preview. It also takes time to encode. You can control how heavy you want the effect to be on your video, but again, each time you want to make a change you have to wait for the encoding process. The same process goes for picking audio. The wait time for uploading a video is a good minute.

Socialcam is a much easier process. There's no cap on time — you can record videos over 15 seconds if you'd like. Before you start recording a video, you can flip through all the different filters, which is nice because you can see how your video will look with a certain filter before you even begin recording. Once that's set, you record your video and select the audio and you're finished — there's no wait time. If you don't have time to sit there editing your video so that it's perfect, Socialcam is great for recording videos on the go. As smartphone users, we're all used to this type of quick content creation versus spending a lot of time editing and waiting for content to load.

Music Selection & Filters
The music selection on both apps still isn't great, although Viddy has a few music choices from Snoop Dogg and other artists. Socialcam has a wider range of filters to choose from, and I like that you can see how they look before you start recording.

I think both apps are great, and which one you choose as your go-to video app will depend on what you're looking for. If you want to create good quality videos and have more editing options to work with to get that perfect 15-second clip, I definitely recommend going with Viddy. However, if you'd like to just capture content on the fly easily and share with all your friends, Socialcam would be your better choice.

(Images: Socialcam and Viddy)

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