12seconds.tv, the micro vlogging site, is closing it’s doors this month. All of it’s users received an e-mail today (included beneath this post) from founder Sol Lipman saying goodbye.
I have mixed feelings about this, frankly. Last year I posted about the reasons I felt 12seconds never took off like so many people thought it would initially. After that I used the site more, and found I rather liked it – even though my initial criticism was, I feel, correct: People who post video want more than 12 seconds worth, YouTube has a larger potential viewership, and most people aren’t brave enough to constantly shoot video of themselves.
Above: An example of 12seconds’ embedding code not working. Among all of the other points I made in my initial review of the site, this one is still the most annoying to me. Ah well – what do you want for nothing, right?
Still, the concept for 12seconds did grow on me. After a few months I managed to shoot some bits at least I was happy with. It seems the real magic of 12seconds was that, since you’re only on the spot for a short amount of time, you can only make yourself look so stupid – so go for it because how bad can you possibly make yourself look in 12 seconds?
The problem is, with 20% of social media users actually producing content, far fewer of them are willing to regularly broadcast video of themselves. Not when a Tweet or a Facebook update takes less effort and doesn’t make them self-conscious. It’s a subtle issue that they could never have gotten around, as it was baked into the concept of 12seconds itself.
Actually, given the recent news of Twitter’s updated page, and how they were going to partner with 12seconds.tv among other sites, I thought they were doing better. I had even planned on using them for a project coming up in a Twitter/12seconds hybrid campaign. I guess I’ll be going back to Vimeo after all.
What’s strange to me is that no other site stepped up to buy them. It seems like the kind of concept Facebook would be all over, getting more users to post free content and hopefully make a run for all that YouTube traffic. Perhaps Twitter would have found it more useful, as the only major site that doesn’t have it’s own in-house video solution? Perhaps the site didn’t seek out any offers, and simply wanted to lay it to rest rather than sell it?
Hopefully there will be more details in the coming weeks. Suffice it to say, though, you’ve just lost one more use for that dusty webcam on top of your monitor.
Nearly 3 years ago, David Beach and I decided to grab a beer at a local pub and talk about startup ideas. I told him a dumb idea and he told me about one called 10seconds. I said, “we should do that one.” He said, “okay.” And that was it. That is until we figured out that 10seconds.tv was already taken. 12seconds sounded pretty good to us too.
We set out on a journey that would take on a wild ride of ups and downs. We experienced birth, death and (Beach) even battled cancer.
Today we are announcing the end of 12seconds.
Why? As you probably know, everything has a life cycle. 12seconds is in its twilight. After all the new product launches and attempts at a revenue model, fundraising with VCs and late night coding sessions with Jacob hunched over his monitors – it’s time to call it. It is time to end 12seconds.
However, if 12seconds had a bucket list it would have filled it up with amazing life experiences! We launched an innovative micro-vlogging system, built crazy mobile apps, created revenue with legit sponsors, we were nominated for awards and had the best users on the Internet – our beloved 12ers.
12seconds is not a failure – it is a life well-lived. It really is about the journey. I know this because I’m at the destination.
You’re thinking, “holy crap I made like 1000 12second videos, what do I do?” Later this week, we’re going to release a download tool for you to capture those moments in time. It will be available until we pull the plug – on October 22nd.
If you have any questions or want to say goodbye, feel free to reply to this e-mail or click here (firstname.lastname@example.org) to wish us all well.
There were a lot of team members and users who made 12seconds an incredible experience. I can’t possibly list them all here but you know who you are. Finally, to my co-founders Beach and Jacob – I love you guys.