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Socialcam #1 (justinkan.com)
74 points by justin 1639 days ago | hide | past | web | 30 comments | favorite

With all due respect to the socialcam team, I also think their viral growth is due to some underhanded techniques that they are using by posting, without user content, on news feeds.

Here is my post on HN regarding this:


Basically if you click on a social cam video on facebook, which takes you to social cams webapp to view the video, the video also gets added and shared to your newsfeed without user consent

I really really do not like apps using underhanded techniques to go forth with their viral agendas. If I really wanted to share this video, than I WOULD HAVE. That is what a like/share is, isn't it?

This is especially frustrating with Socialcam since when I first linked my fb account (on the android app) it said "We won't spam your wall. Promise."

Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/HPnGn.png

Every time I see a socialcam link on Facebook, I'm very careful not to click it for precisely the reason you mentioned above.

Congrats to them on their growth, but all this time I was under the impression that it was a spammy operation, so no kudos.

it seems like a lot of Facebook users thinks Socialcam is a spam.


so whats the fine line here? they clearly say they won't spam your wall, yet they post without you knowing and you can't even see yourself that you posted something?

I mark them as spam whenever I see their stuff posted on facebook. They might not consider it spam, but it pretty clearly meets the definition in my mind. It's unsolicited, and masquerading as an action taken by one of my friends. Total bs.

I really hate it when tools use such underhanded techniques, but I get it from a business point of view.

Especially social apps like SocialCam need to become the biggest network in their space to succeed in the end. Being number two in the social space is a far worse than in any other market because of network effects.

It's probably worth offending some users and even loosing some. Especially posting it on your wall, when you click on it, is something that most users don't care about. I've asked some of my not so tech-savy friends and they think it's totally okay.

Something that doesn't work at all is posting something without any action from the user or from a different source than their facebook timeline (for example from an mobile app) without their consent. This can kill your product and will upset nearly everybody.

But that is exactly what they are doing. All I did was click on the video posted, and that immediately posted on my feed, and people started commenting on it. No approval solicited.

Didn't Facebook recently warn apps from doing this? I thought chill (the turntable for video) got a slap on the wrist for doing something similar

The distinction, as I understand it, is the "voice" the app uses. Chill said something like "Hey I just joined Chill and it's pretty cool, you should check it out!" First person. Socialcam says "John Doe has watched Rick Roll Video." Third person.

Thats BS. It is malicious spam. There used to be vids that would pop up on walls and when you clicked them it would do the SAME thing as socialcam. Those were spam because they posted to you wall "girl on rollercoster has orgasm" or something stupid so that others would click and it would spread. Now "viral" has no meaning because it is forced upon the people. What if i thought the vid i watch premoted sexism and DID NOT want others to watch it? Well to bad, now even bad vids well go viral all you need is enough friends who have enough friend. Soon i wont even be able to use facebook for what it is good for, keeping in touch, and viewing the feeds that i have chosen to appear

Rarely does a team create something with negative value but social cam has succeeded! Their app pollutes my wall. I hope their team reads this because they have designed the worst program I have seen on Facebook.

Even worse thing they are doing is lying to all my friends.

Use case(happend to me on May 4th):

1) I watched some video on YouTube.com. Yes, just on youtube, not even on their site or app, althoug SC had access to my fb at by that time. 2) I liked that video and shared it on my FB stream from YouTube page 3) Since socialcam had access to my stream and they somehow monitored it and within a minutes posted another update to my wall:

Vladimir Gurgov watched a video on Socialcam Video recorded with Socialcam on April 19, 2012 Release Date: Friday, May 4, 2012 at 12:53pm

This video was NOT watched on Socialcam and was NOT recorded with Socialcam. Its YT video that i watched on YouTube.com. To me its clear lying or misleading all of my fb friends. With all the respect to fellows at Socialcam I am questioning such marketing tactics etiquette. I am wondering what HN community think of it?

sounds about right from what i've seen. as one of the people that built Zynga, i'd like to congratulate the team on getting 'agressive'. maybe you guys can turn it into a quiz app or something really cool ;)

I was very impressed by these guys during YC. They already knew so much about video from working on it at Justin.TV (plus Michael already knew so much about being a CEO) that it was like watching an experienced pilot.

I keep seeing these awkward auto-posts on Facebook from both Socialcam and Viddy, and as someone not seeking out a product like either of these, this is my only impression of these services. People in my social graph who clearly wouldn't want others seeing activity about the racy videos they've clicked on are getting wall posts like "Grandpa just watched 'Tiniest bikini' on Socialcam". Between the Facebook spam and the cliche "it's like [other service] for [slightly different usage]" make me much more skeptical than curious.

I consider Socialcam a virus. No wonder it's spreading. On mobile I should not be forced to install an app just to watch a Facebook video.

The amount of spam I see from apps like Socialcam and Viddy reminds me of the days of FarmVille spam. The problem is that this model is not sustainable. If you look at FarmVille's popularity (http://www.google.com/trends/?q=farmville), you can see that it peaks and then quickly drops. Whenever I see this type of growth I think of the quote "trick me once, shame on you. trick me twice, shame on me". When you have "artificial" traction on a network as large as facebook, you can use your momentum to get more and more users. However, to survive in the long term, your value proposition has to be great enough such that users forgive you for sneakily using their account to spam. This wasn't the case for FarmVille, and personally, I don't think it will be the case for either Socialcam or Viddy.

Funny, I just blocked and removed this app on FB today after noticing they had posted to my wall about me watching a video. I have zero tolerance for spammy apps.

This is the one thing I avoid on facebook all the time. It spams my newsfeed all the time, with a text like "michalel watched this video on socialcam." Pure Spam with no value. If you happen to click that link, socialcam will spam your friends wall by saying " tom watched this video on Socialcam."

Socialcam's growth is fake! Aside from the already mentioned underhanded spamming. Their growth comes from non-Socialcam content. Most Socialcam video viewing I see among my Facebook friends are viral videos that are just uploaded from YouTube, etc.

Impressive growth, albeit through less than amazing means. Instagram grew, but didn't require viewers to have any account or attachment to the platform / application. Socialcam / Viddy both grow _truly_ virally through Facebook in that it posts to your wall when a video is viewed. What _is_ interesting is the sociological side of things, which highlights what most people are actually interested in vs what they claim in reality.

Bleh, Socialcam is viral spam.

This is the stat that is actually impressive (both their mobile user count now and aggregated over time).

Previously, we had been seeing statistics about how many people are viewing their videos on Facebook. One problem with that they allow uploading any arbitrary video so, for example, their statistics include views of a "Dark Knight Rises" trailer.

this is very impressive. i'm a little skeptical, however, whether this type of video sharing will get mainstream adoption (like, say, instagram).

people like 3 things re:pictures: 1) take them, 2) show them off, and 3) look at them. this has been true since way before the internet. the advent of the video camera on phones makes 1) happen, but i'm not sure about 2 or 3. for example, i'm seldom inclined to watch any socialcam video that shows up on my FB feed, but i click on pictures a lot more often than i don't.

I think your skepticism is correct if you go strictly follow logic along the "instagram for video" metaphor. Which is natural, everyone wants to make that corollary right now given Instagram's recent successes.

But I wonder if the metaphor is limiting. How about "Youtube for mobile"? As more and more media consumption happens in mobile, can't we expect consumers to extend their patience and habits for longer formats?

fair enough. on the other hand, i arrived at this by thinking about the role that pictures play in the lives of my friends & family, and my experience. not by analogy with instagram.

hey guys you raised your massive angel round, time to tune down on the Facebook spamming. And a little more classy champion wouldn't hurt either

Looks like "Instagram for video" is a two-horse race between Socialcam and Viddy (blurred out, but ranked #3 in that photo with 2800+ reviews and 4.5 stars).

I'm curious, what is Socialcam's strategy for winning this dogfight? It's going to be very interesting considering how it's a similar, winner-take-all market dynamic as Instagram, but with two legitimate contenders this late in the game.

Viddy also raise a lot of money recently: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/04/27/...

They are downloading copyrighted youtube videos, stripping everything youtube, and uploading them into socialcam. Either youtube will shut them down, or its going be a big mess for everyone.

Eg: http://s3.amazonaws.com/com.socialcam.videos/yvideos/2012-5-...


Instagram for video?

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