Best of CTIA: Bare-Bones Mobile Video Is a Hit

Written by Michael Stroud.

If you think mobile social video is a no-go in the U.S., you might consider, which claims 2.5 million users of its personal broadcasting service worldwide, with half of them American.

The site (( on your mobile phone) lets anyone with a video-enabled mobile phone create their own mobile “TV show” for free and share it with other friends, family or love prospects.

The company’s fixed Internet site is bare-bones and unapologetically devoid of uploading capabilities.

“We are convinced that we don’t need an Internet site for our users,” says Sabine Irrgang, COO of Munich-based GoFresh, which owns “Many are not interested, or they don’t even have a computer.”

Users report that their companies are cracking down on personal Internet use, she adds. So they catch up on videos, or post, from their mobile phones. The company also runs its own moderated broadcasts on the “videos of the week”, music, “cute puppies” and similar fare designed for the 18-45 set. has attracted some A-list advertisers like Ford, Reebok, Vodafone and Universal, who run several-second spots, banners or branded programs in the tiny cellphone real estate.
The personal broadcasts are grainy, as-it’s-happening snippets of people’s lives that other users can rate. Users can also incorporate photos, IM and flirting.

Carriers haven’t backed the service yet in the U.S., although Irrgang says she’s been holding talks with carriers at the CTIA Wireless show in San Francisco this week.

Itsmy also has a strong user base in the U.K., Germany and other parts of Europe and Asia. Besides the mobile versions of Facebook, MySpace and growing number of mobile social networking sites allow video uploads, including Singapore-based MyGamma, dominant in Asia; BuzzCity; Dada, which enables mobile video blogging; and Shozu, which allows users to repurpose videos from online social networks for the mobile web.

Michael Stroud runs iHollywoodForum, a digital media event and media company in Los Angeles.