Twitter has mastered the 140 character status updates. Facebook is the gold standard for image posting. But what about video?

Let’s talk some “Tout”, which partnered with the movie studios to launch a contest around sneak previews of the new Matt Damon flick. Maybe you’ve seen ShaqJeff Probst or Wendy Williams posting videos to the site. With Tout, you can:

  • Watch and upload 15-second video status updates captured on your smartphone, tablet or webcam.
  • Share instantly via your social media channels.
  • Use as a social sharing experience by capturing and delivering real-life-in-real-time direct from your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or browser — with all the energy and emotion of full-color, sound and action.
  • Use quick, ADD-friendly video snippets to build your relationships, fanbase and brand.

As an early Twitter adopter Shaq seems to have a knack for predicting the next big thing.

There used to be a dedicated 15 second video site that posted right to Twitter, but it and others like it have not sustained…nor have they built the buzz comparable to Tout. We were first introduced to Tout when the big fella’ Shaq announced his NBA retirement through the service. According to a Forbes article:

O’Neal discovered Tout early this year and had his agent meet with CEO Michael Downing.  The two men made a deal. Shaq would announce his retirement by posting a Tout video to his more than 3.8 million Twitter followers. In exchange, O’Neal — who told ESPN he considered himself “the emperor of the social media network” — would get a seat on the company’s advisory board and get a small equity stake in the company.

Appears Tout is taking steps to be around for some time. But how is the user experience and should businesses and individuals start using the service just because other big names are?

It’s really easy to sign up and start using the service but one thing we noticed was you can login to your Tout with a Twitter account but each user’s Tout page has its own “Followers” — this doesn’t mean people have to use another network. Your videos can still be public and shared primarily through Twitter and Facebook.

We like 15 second videos. They are easy for the average person to create…it’s hard to talk too much. If the video is bad, it’s practically over when you realize such. If it’s good, you get to blaze through a lot of interesting content. Tout could provide brands with a whole new world of fun and creative video tie-ins to their promotional campaigns and community engagement initiatives.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Tout, in 15 second increments. Where do you see Tout fitting in to your social media strategies, if at all?

-Andy and Dan, TGPR