Have you ever wished that you could express yourself more thoroughly on your social network profiles and go beyond the conventional profile images and text? Vanityvid, a new Israel-based startup, is taking the profile pic to the next level by giving users the opportunity to turn their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures into videos. I had the opportunity to ask Vanityvid’s CTO and Co-Founder, Oren Solomianik, a few questions about the service, it’s inspiration and how Vanityvid is doing so far. See what he had to say after the jump.
Before we get into my interview with Oren, let’s take a look at how Vanityvid works. Vanityvid brings profile pictures to life. On the company’s website they explain that, “Wherever your profile pic shows (social networks, online communities, blog comments, etc.), people will also be able to see you move and hear you talking, and get a better feeling of who you are and what you’re like.”
Users can record or upload their Vanityvid profile videos directly from the Vanityvid website. In order to see the Vanityvids of other users, a Vanityvid browser add-on must be installed. The add-on is available for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome. Oren explains how the site works in the video below.
I was curious to find out about what inspired Oren and the other co-founders of Vanityvid to start the company, as well as their vision for how the service would be used. Oren has this to say:
“We are also the founders of Triond, so we sat one day going over pics of our users and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to really see and hear these wonderful people?’…When you look at a pic, you can’t answer several basic questions – How does this person view himself? How does he communicate verbally? What is his body language and what is his general vibe? A video answers those questions and much more.”
Vanityvid gives users the opportunity to share a lot more of their personality with their friends and followers. They can tell people about themselves, who they are, what they do, what they enjoy and more, and give viewers a much better idea of their personality than they can with the traditional picture and text profile.
Oren told me that they are receiving a lot of great responses from their users, who see Vanityvid “as a tool for a better social experience and for personal branding.” He told me that more than 1,000 people have recorded Vanityvids and more and more people are making their profile pics into videos with Vanityvid on a daily basis.
I asked how the company is promoting themselves. Oren said, “We’re currently promoting it through people using the service. They are encouraged to share it with their friends on Facebook and Twitter. Also, each time we get a new partner on board we immediately have the potential to be used by all of their users.” Triond is Vanityvid’s first partner and, as such, users do not have to have the toolbar installed in order to see users’ video profiles on the Triond site.
I think that the idea of allowing users to upload videos in place of profile pictures on networks like Facebook and Twitter is a great one. It really does allow friends and followers to get a better sense of who you are as a person, which is especially great for bloggers and professionals. It will be interesting to see how Vanityvid takes off and whether the service will lead to a future in which video is the new profile pic. What do you think of the idea? What would you share with the world through a video profile picture?