The Chinese video-sharing app Weiku has launched a version for Android, bringing the app to the country’s most popular smartphone platform after its earlier iOS debut.
Weiku, in the mold of Viddy or Socialcam, is geared towards being a sort of ‘Instagram for videos.’ In the case of Weiku, it restricts videos to 30-seconds in length and gives a choice of live filters to apply. But after playing with this new Android version, I spot that the filters are missing - they’ll presumably be added later so that it has feature-parity with the iPhone version.
Aside from that, Weiku has a pleasant, slidey UI that works fluidly, with videos categorized for easy browsing. I’m not sure how many people watch random videos within the app, but that works smoothly and quickly over my home wifi. I enjoy browsing people’s photos on apps like Instagram or Tuding, but I must admit I still can’t see the point of taking several minutes to to take a chance on some stranger’s video being in any way worth watching.
But that’s perhaps because social sharing is the raison d’être for apps like these, so that they’re mainly watched by a more receptive audience of your friends, who can access the video from however you share it. In the case of Weiku, you can connect the app to Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, or Renren. I tested it out myself, making a brief cat video:
After sharing it to Weibo, it appears in your followers’ stream as a screenshot and link, which they can follow to watch it on the Weiku site. But that’s all a big failure if the viewer is on a mobile, unless they’re one of the few masochists to install Flash for Android. No HTML5 on Weiku, it seems. (Here’s my brief video).
And so Weiku has promise, in that the app works well, and 2012 might prove to be the year of social video apps like these. Or maybe photos - more elemental, more direct - will retain their pulling power. The Weiku app was a lot less buggy - in fact it gave me no issues at all - than its fitful and crashy local rivals, such as iShehui, Weipai, and Yi Xia, so it’s worth trying out if you’re a Weibo user.
Grab Weiku for Android as an ‘.apk’ file from its homepage (or the iPhone version, if you swing that way).