Yes, I’m drinking the green Kool-Aid, if you will.
I like getting in on the ground floor of social media apps. I was an early adopter of Facebook, Twitter and Google+. I missed the boat on Instagram, Snapchat and Vine, and when I heard about the promise of a simpler, unfiltered, lo-fi take on a video/social media platform that allows you to record and upload nuggets of daily life without the cumbersome need to post-process and edit things, I decided to give it a try.
This is Beme.
According to Casey Neistat, Beme is supposed to be a ‘new way to share.’ Instead of creating a barrier by putting your camera between what’s happening and what you’re seeing, Beme simply acts as a hidden recorder of that moment in time.
You start the app, cover the proximity sensor by placing the phone to your chest, or against your chin, or placing your finger over it or other creative methods like the guys from SouthSixty do…
The app was released in beta primarily for iPhone users, then a brief beta was opened for Android users later. I wasn’t 100% certain about actually jumping on board at the beta stage and decided to wait for the official release. When it hit on May 2nd, I installed it and have been playing around with ways of making snippets of video and crafting little stories – which is quite similar to SnapChat.
I had a few issues with my particular phone, but an update came out less than 2 hours after release and it has been working just fine ever since.
For folks who are used to the typical social media app that allows you to search for content or mess around with bells and whistles, you won’t easily find that. This is a pared down video capture/sharing social media app that allows you to make clips and react to clips. There’s no likes or messages or any of that stuff. You make content, people watch your content, people react to your content and away you go. Its unfiltered, its real, and its raw.
I see this being a great app for creative types who like to make short films or have no use for parading themselves in front of a camera, but want to share their experiences in the quickest most unobtrusive way.
Which may be the reason why a lot of people are not totally receptive to the idea. People are comfortable with Snapchat, Vine and other forms of recording quick video for quick consumption. I think it will take time to grow in popularity outside of Casey Neistat’s evangelism, but I’m not 100% sure Beme will overtake SnapChat or Vine – and I’m quite fine with that. I believe it will serve a certain niche for creatives and such – outside of the mainstream, but have enough of a simple and unique take on creating and sharing that it will have a decent following.
There’s been a trend among creatives and forward thinkers to abandon the usual platforms for things that are simplified, austere, yet very functional – less distraction is better. It’s one of the reasons why I loved ello. It was a great platform for expressing your creativity, getting inspired, and having a quick and easy connection with other users. I believe Beme is trying to achieve something similar in app format – the only issue I have is the connection part.
Outside of reactions, there’s no way to engage the person you follow. Sure, comments can be a bit of a cesspool, but they can often create a really tight community too. I guess that’s the tightrope the dev team was forced to walk. They relented and created a button to hold on screen for outwardly recording a Beme, which sort of defeats the purpose of “eliminating the phone in front of face barrier.” I found myself using that button rather than covering the proximity sensor. I’m sure it was originally intended for the selfie option, but I wonder if there was some beta tester feedback that recommended it for ease of use?
Either way, I’m having a bit of fun crafting these basic, really lo-fi nuggets of video and will tinker with it some more to try different methods of making the ordinary feel more interesting. That’s always the benefit of editing – you can make things APPEAR more interesting than they actually are, rather than being interested in things that may not be interesting.
That’s the other common complaint with Beme – its an app that records the uninteresting things in life. But I grossly disagree. If you’re creative enough, you can craft a series of clips to tell a story and make things more interesting.
If we use our brains and see things a bit more creatively, being interesting becomes less difficult. You start to look at everything differently and appreciate what’s going on around you. When you share that enthusiasm or subtlety in a way that paints a moving picture, you’ve made something interesting.
I’m willing to give it a shot.
Find me on Beme: drezzrodriguez